“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ”
These words have rung in my ears throughout this week as I continue to teach through Mark this season at Harvest. At first blush, I always presumed this to be the correct answer, but upon further study I understand; right answer, wrong Christ.
At the same time I’ve been watching the unrest develop in Ukraine / Crimea. Watching Putin wait for the close of Sochi only to unabashedly jump into the Crimean peninsula. No shame. Just had to get the Olympics out of the way. Now on to the everyday work of occupying neighboring nations. It’s audacious, and it’s immoral.
Didn’t the protesters see this coming???
Hasn’t it happened numerous times in the past already? (Stalin)
I am no proponent for the perpetuation of the status quo, but to set about to change something requires some foresight; did they not see this coming? Did they really expect to set up their own government? Did they not see Putin coming?
What would have been the lesser of two evils; settling for a corrupt status quo under a monster, or fomenting revolution only to pave the way for a greater monster?
It strikes me as naive.
The same way as the above statement by Peter in Mark 8:29 strikes me as unknowing, not understanding what’s really at stake, what’s on the table, what the issues are, what the risks are.
Maybe he wouldn’t have signed up, if he knew what that term “Christ” meant.
Because this Christ would not perpetuate the “monster cycle” of Caesars replacing conquerors replacing kings; Rome replacing Greece replacing Babylon; Iron replacing bronze replacing gold.
Homey don’t play that.
Jesus will not be that Christ.
This is the Christ He will be:
8:34 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. 35 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. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 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.” 9 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.”
It is so alt; so not-of-this-world, so un-Machiavellian, so right.
I close with the words of the “Eleventh Step Prayer” which embodies this ethos of Christ and not of the Monster:
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to understand,
than to be understood; to comfort than to be comforted
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.