On this journey with the Lord Jesus, I am learning of His character and His purpose. Mark chapter eight we read of His compassion. Once again He feeds the crowd, using seven loaves of bread. Following this He gives a warning- "beware of the yeast of the Pharisees (religious extremism) and of Herod ( political manipulation). Jesus, in the plan of God was independent of both. He was serving God and saving people.
The disciples had been with Him for almost 3 years, and it was time for the most important question:- : " Who do you say that I am?" Peter said "You are the Christ (Messiah)". Jesus accepted that confession, and Peter was later martyred for believing that.
At that critical point on the journey, The Lord explained to them the cost of being a disciple (Follower) , along with the eternal reward. I quote:-
" If a person is ashamed of Me and My message in these adulterous and sinful days, I the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when I return in the glory of My Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38
This is challenging to me. But it is more important to understand the principle stated – everything depends on our relationship to HIM.! And then the promise – He will return in glory with the holy angels.
Chapter 9 is a mountaintop experience for three witnesses. They saw a glimpse of the coming kingdom – whiteness, companionship, heavenly approval. Read it for yourself and worship Him.
The journey is nearing the end. He explained to the disciples in detail that He would be killed and the rise to life again. They didn't understand. The prophet Isaiah had prophesied 600 years earlier that the LORD's servant would suffer death for the purpose of atoning for the sins of the people. It was all happening according to God's plan.
He said "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross and follow Me." (8:34).
Are we ready to continue with Him?