“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8,9). The disciples learned this in what must have been for them the most shocking thing Jesus had ever told them up until now. We are so accustomed to the message of Jesus’ crucifixion that it is easy to overlook how jarring that prospect would have been for the disciples. The great hope of the Israelite people at that time was freedom from the Roman overlords. Having seen Jesus’ miracles, experienced his magnetic personality as they followed him, and watched him draw enthusiastic crowds, it would have been totally natural for them to assume that Jesus would somehow challenge the servility they lived under with the Romans. But now this. Jesus astonished and dismayed them with the news that — contrary to all their hopes and expectations — he would undergo suffering, be rejected by the religious leaders and killed. It was the worst possible thing Jesus could have said.
Read Mark 8:31-48
- What questions or comments do you have about this passages that you would like to share with the group?
- How must Christ’s prediction of His suffering and death have sounded to His disciples?
- How could Peter rebuke the one he had just called “the Christ”?
- What does it mean to deny self and carry the cross?
- In what way do you think denying ourselves and taking up our cross…should impact us as a church at M B C?
- What paradox does Jesus give us in verse 35?
- What does Jesus teach here about the value of one’s soul? Vs 36-37
- What cause and effect does Jesus promise in verse 38?