"Corrected" Sunday, September 16, 2018 - 9 AM
Corrected – Mark 8:27-33 Bascomb UMC / September 16, 2018/ 9 & 11AM Focus: The true meaning of Christ as our suffering, sacrificing God in the flesh. Function: The call of discipleship to correct our path and have us follow Jesus into a life of sacrifice and service. 5 Purpose Outcomes of the Church: Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Evangelism, Service Mark 8:27–33 Jesus predicts his death 27 Jesus and his disciples went into the villages near Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They told him, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” 30 Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about him. 31 Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts, and be killed, and then, after three days, rise from the dead.” 32 He said this plainly. But Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him. 33 Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, then sternly corrected Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.” Awkward! First, Peter took it on himself to correct Jesus. Then the text says Jesus “sternly corrected Peter” This must have been an awkward moment for the rest of the disciples: “Did Jesus just call Peter Satan? Whoa…..” We have all made mistakes and maybe it’s easier to blame our wrongs on the devil – “the devil made me do it!” We all are said to have to voices speaking into each ear – an angle and a devil. Who do we listen to? But to err is…………human. Part of our growth! I shared a few quotes about mistakes with some of you……… would you be willing to share them with us? (one slide for each quote) #1 - Albert Einstein said: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” #2 - “Be sure to admit your errors first, before someone else exaggerates them.” #3 - All the wrongs done in my life were done because of my sincere belief that it was the BEST thing I could do! #4 - When you realize you've made a mistake, fix it immediately. Crow is easier to eat when it's still warm. The greatest mistake you can make in life is to live in fear that you will make a mistake ….because only experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it a second time. Experience is the name everyone should give to their mistakes. One person hesitates out of their inferiority complex - while another person is busy making mistakes and thereby growing - becoming superior. The only real mistake is the one that teaches us nothing. To swear off mistakes is very easy, just swear off ever having an idea. It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something. However, you must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself. Peter made a mistake and Mark’s gospel calls him out. All 3 of the synoptic gospels include this story, but, while Matthew praises Peter for this great revelation, Mark and Luke do not! And Mark goes on to show us that a right answer does not mean Peter understands. Jesus is like the math teacher that insists you SHOW your work! What do you mean by “Christ” Peter? A lot of people were saying things about Jesus. A lot of people had opinions about who Jesus was and what Jesus was up to. Peter used the word “christos,” the Greek word for Messiah: the coming Jewish King after David’s lineage. But his understanding of Messiah is flawed, naming Jesus the Messiah does not define the title. What does Christ or Messiah really mean? Only in Mark’s gospel do we get this next phrase “Jesus began to teach his disciples.” Until now, Mark’s gospel emphasized Jesus’ authority and power, but from now on we are prepared for his rejection and death. This pivot in Mark’s gospel begins when Jesus speaks of himself as “The Human One” (CEB) or “Son of man” (NRSV) for “Christ.” In Mark “The Human One” or “Son of man” is the only title Jesus uses to define himself. Peter uses “Son of God” and Jesus uses “Son of man.” Why? The “Human One” will suffer and die before rising from the grave or coming again with angels in glory. Jesus corrects Peter’s “Christ” in terms of this “Son of man.” Peter was behaving like a patron, not a disciple, and Jesus will not be patronized. I told the children that we were choosing to be on the losing team because only by losing could everyone else win! Jesus had to work an act of great love and sacrifice to heal creation and transform our world. God chooses the path of humiliation as a response of Jesus to the great Fall of Humanity into sin. This giving of his human body was the will of God. The great liberator, the Messiah, must suffer humiliation, torture, and death at the hands of religious and civil authorities. This utterly changes what is meant by “Messiah” or “Christ”—no longer a title of triumphant power, but a name associated with suffering, rejection, and public execution. Jesus needs to endure the depth of human pain in order to reconcile humanity with God. For Jesus Christ to bring full humanity into communion with God, he must bear the fullness of human experience, including suffering and death: “that which he has not assumed he has not healed” (Gregory of Nazianzus). To be obedient to God the Father, Jesus sets himself on a collision course with the Jewish religious establishment, with Peter, and with Rome. That makes the locale even more important. Jesus and God’s will run counter to ALL earthly authorities. Caesarea Philippi, just north of Bethsaida, is the site of a temple - built by Herod the Great (Jewish power) and dedicated to Caesar Augustus (Roman power). In Mark, the next scene is the transfiguration, then the trip down the mountain and towards Jerusalem. From Caesarea Philippi to Capernaum, to Judea, to Jericho, to Jerusalem. The route is from Galilee to Jerusalem. Only when we have heard the true meaning of what it means to be the Messiah are we in a place to hear his call to us: follow me. Discipleship, therefore, is the necessary outcome of confessing this Jesus to be the Messiah. 34 After calling the crowd together with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 35 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them. 36 Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? 37 What will people give in exchange for their lives? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels” Mark 8:34–38 (CEB). “Get behind me, Satan” cuts in two ways. Yes, the use of “Satan” reminds us that Jesus is subject to temptation. Wouldn’t you want to avoid suffering, rejection, and death? This is Peter’s human way of thinking; and Jesus identifies it as a devil of an idea. But focus on this: Jesus’ is reminding Peter where disciples belong. “Behind me” and “after me” are identical words in Greek. Disciples are not to guide, protect, or possess Jesus; they are simply to follow him. So how easily are YOU corrected? How do we respond to correction? Do we readily accept correction? Does your Sunday school teacher, your boss, your preacher have that kind of “corrective” authority over you? I think it begins with the heart. Annie was a good ol’ southern girl who moved into an African American neighborhood and though nothing of it to hang a Confederate flag up on her house. But it was something to her neighbors (clip #1 – Annie and her flag). However, she came face to face with her own mortality – looking into eternity, she corrected her attitude and had a change of heart (clip #2 Annie and her flag). God would correct each of us today – here at the altar, we have God’s promise….. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your stony heart from your body and replace it with a living one” Ezekiel 36:26 (CEB). Come down and collect your new heart. Let God give you a new path. Don’t wait until you’re at death’s door – who can you bless at that late date! Come now – let us pray.