Wednesday, March 16, 2022
A Prayer Meeting
Dr. Bob Hornback
Jesus had withdrawn from the crowds to reflect and pray with his Disciples. After a while Jesus asked the group who the crowds thought he was. The answers were consistent. People thought Jesus was he who would introduce the Messiah. He was maybe a reincarnation of John the Baptist, Elijah or some other long-ago prophet.
His main interest, I think, was about their own hearts. “Who do you think I am.” Impetuous Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”
Here it gets interesting. Jesus says not to tell anyone what they think. Why not! Whatever happened to evangelism? Jesus had work to do first. He had spiritual ground to plow. The consensus of the people saw the Messiah as a God-sent political figure, a spiritual, even military strong man who would free them from Roman oppression. If word spread that such a person was among them, surely the Roman powers would make short work of eradicating him. Oddly Jesus did not refer to himself as Messiah, but by another name, Son of Man (a possible reference to the late book of Daniel 7:13-14). The Son of Man would be rejected, abused, and killed, but then raised to life.
Then the shocker. Whoever wanted to be a true follower must reduce self-concern to focus on him. Not only that, but daily take up the cross. OK, things are getting really scary now, they thought. They knew what a cross meant. The operative word was “daily.” A cross was once and final, like a martyr. “Daily” gave a different meaning. It was not just dealing with the most challenging human trials but choosing to love and follow.
Prayer: Lord, let us not so decorate our lives that we lose our souls. Amen.