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For the Love of God-Don Carson (February 5)

Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Martyn Lloyd-Jones

  • Ignorant of the Truth: A sermon by Martyn Lloyd-Jones +

    "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto Read More
  • I Am A Debtor: A sermon by Martyn Lloyd-Jones +

    Paul was a man who could stand without any fear and without any apology in Athens on Mars' Hill. There Read More
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Don  Carson

http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=Gen.+38

http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=Mark+8

http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=JOb+4

http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=Romans+8

UNDER QUESTIONING, the disciples confess who Jesus is (Mark 8:27-30). Christ is the Greek form of Messiah, which has a Hebrew background.

This confession triggers a flood of fresh revelation from the Lord Jesus (8:31-38). Now he teaches that the Son of Man "must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again" (8:31). As Mark points out, Jesus "spoke plainly about this" (8:32).

Apparently earlier comment on the subject was far more veiled.

Living as we do on this side of the cross, it is easy for us to be a bit condescending about Peter's reaction and rebuke of the Master (8:32). From Peter's perspective, Jesus simply had to be wrong on this subject. After all, Messiahs don't get killed: they win. And how could a God-anointed, miracle-working Messiah like Jesus lose? Peter was wrong, of course, profoundly wrong.

For even the disciples had not yet grasped that Jesus the Messiah was simultaneously conquering King and Suffering Servant.

But there was more to come. Not only did Jesus insist that he himself was going to suffer and die and rise again, but he also insisted that each of his followers "must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (8:34). To a first-century ear, such language was shocking. "To take up your cross" did not mean putting up with a toothache, job loss, or personal disability. Crucifixion was universally viewed as the most barbaric of Roman forms of execution, scarcely to be mentioned in polite company. The condemned criminal "picked up his cross," i.e., picked up the cross-member and carried it to the place of execution. If it was your lot to pick up your cross, there was no hope for you. There was only an ignominious and excruciating death.

Yet that is the language Jesus uses. For what all of his disciples must learn is that to be a follower of Jesus entails a painful renunciation of self-interest and a wholehearted turn to Jesus' interests. Yet Jesus' blunt language is not an invitation to spiritual masochism, but to life and bounty. For it is an infallible rule of the kingdom that self-focus issues in death, while "whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it" (8:35). Only for a few will this commitment entail loss of physical life; for all of us it means death to self, discipleship to Jesus. And that includes a glad confession of Jesus, and principled refusal to be ashamed of Jesus and his words in this adulterous and sinful generation (8:38).

Genesis 38; Mark 8; Job 4; Romans 8

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • He Washed It White As Snow: Jesus Paid It All +

    Kristian Stanfill performing. I hear the Savior say Thy strength indeed is small Child of weakness watch and pray Find Read More
  • The Doctrine of Satan and Demons: Wayne Grudem (outline) +

    The following is an outline from Wayne Grudem for chapter 20 of his book, Systematic Theology, dealing with Satan and Read More
  • The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis (complete) +

    THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS by C. S. LEWIS Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford TO J. R. R. TOLKIEN "The best way Read More
  • The Screwtape Letters: Outline +

    Chapter Outline Preface: Introducing the conceit that the letters were "found" and are "true", although Lewis takes care to point Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Postmodern Holiness by Dallas Willard +

    What does it mean to be holy? Read More
  • Reflections on John 14 by Dallas Willard +

    Lecture entitled "Reflections on John 14"delivered at Azusa Pacific University, Read More
  • Francis Chan: Sermon on Holiness +

    Francis Chan discusses the importance of holiness, the need to follow the word of God to have our prayers heard.  Read More
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