“Get behind me, Satan“, Christ said to Peter.
Jesus knew exactly what was about to happen to Him.
He was to suffer, be rejected and die a terrible death on the cross.
In this Bible lesson from Mark, chapter 8, Jesus predicts His death on the cross for the first time.
This is not just about prediction.
The passage here from the Book of Mark explains what it means to “take up the cross” and follow Jesus.
In other words, the Scripture here is about our eternal souls. So, pay close attention to this study lesson.
Jesus Predicts His Death for the First Time
“And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He was stating the matter plainly.
And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” – Mark 8:31-9:1 NASB
Mark Tells How Jesus Predicts His Death –
Wow! There are so many lessons here that I hardly know where to begin!
You may want to take out your Bible or study Bible and read this passage more than once for comprehension. Or, you can read more of this chapter over at BibleGateway.
Life is No Good without the Soul
The main point for me in this passage, and it is one I have lots of trouble with, is the material gain, loss of life and soul.
What good is our life if we lose our soul?
Die to Live
I once enrolled in a church study group called “Men’s Fraternity“. It’s led by Dr. Robert Lewis on video. These sessions really changed my way of thinking about home, work and relationships.
Why do I mention it? Mainly because, the creed of this fellowship is “Die to Live“.
The phrase “die to live” means sometimes, in order to get what you want, you have to give up something first.
Who is Your Hero?
In our society (especially in the USA), we tend to value people’s worth by what they do for a living. Or, worse yet, we value them for what they can do for us.
For example; Look at the staggering amounts of money we bestow on sports figures and movie stars!
I am not condemning sports or movies. I thoroughly enjoy entertainment myself.
But, we sometimes spend so much of our time engaged in these material things, we only think about doing God’s work on Sunday morning – or maybe less often.
What Can Money Really Buy?
A saying I heard a few years ago (don’t know who said it) is:
“Money can buy some happiness but it can’t buy peace of mind.”
Yes, we find some joy in making money, having status in the community, or just by reaching a position of power at work.
But, none of these things are going to last.
No matter how hard you work; no matter how much money or possessions you own; and, no matter how much power you have; how many of these things will you still own after your death?
And, are any of these things mentioned worth the price of your eternal soul?
“Take Up His Cross and Follow Me”
To take up your cross and follow Jesus does not mean that you:
- quit your job
- stop watching movies or sports
- or seek out pain just because you are a Christian.
No, Christians can enjoy the things of this life without remorse (there are exceptions, of course.).
We should, however, be willing to give our lives for Christ and let Him guide us in our decisions.
If we give our time, talents and obedience to Him here on earth, He will reward us in Heaven.
May God help us to give up more for Him. After all, He gave everything for us.
Love in Christ
If you would like to learn more about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to go here.