Father, Son and Spirit, I love you, I need you, I desire your presence in every area of my being and life.
“And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed….. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.” (Mark 15:1-12)
A group of us from ODC have spent the last year going through the Gospel of Mark. We are nearing the end of our study and I read the verses above this morning. As I read it I understand the account of Jesus before Roman authority was of great importance to those who read Mark’s Gospel when it was written. The Church in this time was under great persecution and many Christians were being arrested, tortured and put to death. Those Christians reading this Gospel realized that if they stood firm in their faith, many of them would also stand before a tribunal as well and be subject to the same treatment as Jesus suffered. Reading this Gospel they understood, as followers of Jesus they were to expect no preferential treatment. Jesus clearly had said that his followers would be “handed over” to governors, various authorities, and kings for his sake and hated and held in contempt. Christians needed to come to the deep understanding of the meaning behind the humiliation and suffering of Jesus as in the context of the will of God. They then could prepare themselves for their own “passion narrative” they would face with faith and dignity.
In the midst of the “Prosperity Gospel” that is being proclaimed by many today, this passage in Mark reminds us that following Jesus as a true disciple of Him on earth does not lead to preferred treatment in our life, financial and other situations, it leads to a cross. Following Jesus does not lead to a “preference narrative” but a “Passion Narrative,” understanding “passion” to mean suffering. As Paul plainly speaks this in his words to Christians, “To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.” (1Corinthians 4:11-13)
My family, I pray today a difficult prayer over you. That you will spend time in Scriptures and deep prayer and understand that following Jesus is not about gaining preferential treatment in the affairs or your life, but persecution. Accepting this understanding will free you to love God and others like never before and prepare you to accept your upcoming “Passion Narratives” you will face with the faith and dignity of Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Please pray this same difficult prayer over me. God bless you my friends!
Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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