Mark 8:31-38

                Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

                He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”


From Rev. Kenneth Hardway, Pastor

First Christian Church, Wheeling

and Associate Regional Minister for Youth and Young Adults

“Is this reasonable?” many use as the question to determine God’s will. This isn’t a bad question! God gave us minds to use! Yet this text rebukes the supreme authority of reason—rebuke is the key word—for Peter rebukes Jesus based on his own logic and reason of the role of the Messiah in salvation. Jesus shares rebuking in return.

There is very little in the realm of logic and reason that would lead us to Jesus’ claim upon discipleship. God will suffer? We need to take up our cross? Those who lose their life for the sake of the gospel will save it??

Yet in the light of faith—truly a gift from the realm of God, not human logic—what is it that God gives? God gives life. God gives life in creation, and God gives life in salvation. God’s very own life, in Christ, is given. Lost, so as to be found. Given, so others may have life. What could we possibly give in return? Life. For the sake of the gospel. For the sake of all that is holy and right and good. We give our lives, and in so we find life anew, abundant; never lost, and eternal.


You gave your life, and continue to give life in return.

May we, too, give our lives for the sake of your gospel for the world. Amen.