A Price to Pay

KEY VERSE: “When he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” —Mark 8:34

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Mark 8:27 – 9:13

JESUS HAD BEEN actively preaching for about three years, but had not yet proclaimed that he was the Messiah, even to the disciples. In all likelihood he had maintained silence because, while all Israel was in expectation of their Messiah, they looked for a mighty, glorious leader—one prepared to dispense blessings to the people immediately. Jesus, however, as one ordained to suffer ignominy and death as a ransom price for mankind, would surely be a great disappointment to them in that role. In fact, he had already come unto his own, and his own received him not.

Now, beginning to prepare his apostles and disciples for the fast-approaching end of his earthly walk with them, “he asked his disciples, Whom do men say that I am? They answered, John the Baptist: but some say Elias; and others, One of the prophets. And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.” (Mark 8:27-29) Then, charging his disciples that they should tell no man, Jesus taught them that he must suffer; he must be rejected by the doctors of the Law; and he must be killed, and after three days must rise again.

Jesus spoke plainly about this, taking Peter aside and rebuking him. Jesus severely reprimanded Peter, saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men.” (Mark 8:33, New International Version) Peter had looked upon Jesus’ remarks strictly from the standpoint of a human being—a worldly viewpoint. His comment, for the moment, had placed Peter on Satan’s side as an opponent of the arrangement God planned for Jesus. If any man will be Jesus’ disciple, he must take up his cross and follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Practicing self-denial and cross-bearing is a requirement of all who will be joint-heirs of Christ. All must be tested in faith and obedience.

To encourage and enlighten his disciples, Jesus said that some of those with him at that time would not die until they had seen the “kingdom of God come with power.” (Mark 9:1) They did not literally see the kingdom come, of course. But he was alluding to the vision of the kingdom which James, Peter, and John were privileged to witness just six days after his statement. This took place on the Mount of Transfiguration. On that occasion, Jesus was transfigured, with “his raiment shining, exceeding white as snow,” representing the time when Messiah would be glorified during his thousand-year kingdom. He talked with Moses [the Ancient Worthies] and Elijah [the church], representing the two phases of that kingdom.

The three disciples were fearful at such a sight, knowing not what to say. A cloud overshadowed them, and a voice spoke out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son: hear him.” Suddenly, they looked around and once again they were alone with Jesus. As they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them to tell no man what they had seen, until the Son of man had risen from the dead.

Many years later, Peter explained the meaning of the transfiguration scene (II Pet. 1:16-21), which represented those things which God had spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets which related to the times of restitution of all things. (Acts 3:19-21) “Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.”—vs. 22

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |