Now that the disciples are starting to understand who Jesus really is, he gives them this rather sobering foretaste of where things are heading:
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me. You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Then Jesus said to all the disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
And then he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
(Matthew 16:21-28; Mark 8:31-9:1; Luke 9:22-27)
Let’s look at our 2 BIG Questions:
1. Who exactly is Jesus?
He’s the Son of Man and Son of God who will soon die and then be raised to life to fulfill God’s perfect plan.
2. What exactly should we do?
Jesus gives his followers several important instructions:
- Focus on God’s — not merely human — concerns.
- Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Jesus.
- Lose your life for the sake of Jesus and the gospel.
- Never ever ever be ashamed of Jesus or his words.
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Jovan Vitanovski)