On his terms (Mark 8:27-9:1)

And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" And they told him, "John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets." And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ." And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

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 said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."

And he called to him the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would 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 life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power."
- (Mark 8:27-9:1)


When I'm disappointed with how king Jesus seems to be handling things I remember that he defines the terms of his kingly reign, following him is no democracy. I cannot anymore vote that Jesus be the crucified and risen savior than I can vote on the law of gravity. If Jesus chooses to deliver his subjects by dying for them, even when it seems to us like a stupid way to be a messiah, then he can also define that same cross as the means by which we follow him.

All that to say that we too often define following Jesus by our own terms. Following Jesus happens on his own terms. There is a way to glory with the world, but shame with God, this is more often than not what we or the broader culture says is best. Then there is a way that is shameful, stupid, and foolish according to the world, but is glory with God, that is the way defined by Jesus, that is the cross. Regardless of our terminology for discipleship, let Jesus supply the content.

Geoff has joined theologer.com to guest blog about once a week. He blogs at The Faceless Name