Becoming Followers

Posted by on Aug 28, 2020 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on Becoming Followers

Dear Lord…as we consider your words to your disciples about following your example, please let us realize that genuine love, honesty, loyalty and forgiveness are some of the keys to us as we continue growing as your followers and your disciples. Our gospel for this Sunday is from Matthew 16:21-28. We will also be considering the words Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 12:9-21 as we consider how we can continue growing as followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I would ask that you take the opportunity to put yourself in the story of Jesus beginning to tell the disciples about his coming journey to Jerusalem and what He must suffer there. As you do this, you will remember that you, as a disciple, have witnessed many incidents of Jesus healing people who needed his touch. You will remember that you were with the large groups of people who were ministered to by Jesus and who were fed by Jesus and the disciples with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. You would have witnessed Peter walking on the water, losing sight of Jesus and Jesus saving Peter from drowning. You would have witnessed the calming of the Sea of Galilee as well as the conversation with the Canaanite woman and finally, Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. What a wonderful group of miracles to have experienced. Since you would also be a part of the Jewish community, you would expect that, as everyone else of this community, you would expect that the Messiah would defeat those who were persecuting you and your families. Not only that, but they expected the Messiah to provide political, economic and spiritual relief for them by restoring the temple. They expected this would happen within their lifetime. Yes…the disciples, themselves, did not really realize what Jesus would be saying to them.So, when the disciples heard that Jesus would be taken prisoner by the scribes and Pharisees and would suffer greatly at their hands and would be killed, I’m sure it was difficult for them to hear and to accept as truth. Wouldn’t you feel the same way? I also think we would have also let the words “on the third day he would be raised”, slide by our thoughts as unbelievable. So…when Peter spoke up for the disciples saying this shouldn’t happen we would all have been agreeing with him. We would also have been shocked when Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan.” What would we have felt? In reality, we would have agreed with Peter that our “human senses and interests” would have been primary in our minds and we would have been “clouded” to what Jesus was actually saying. Jesus said to him, “Stop opposing what I’m saying and start following me with genuine love.” Jesus then asks those who want to be His followers to take up their cross and follow him. In other words, put their own lives in the background and think of the others who need to hear the good news. Take up our life…our choices for our own benefit and think of others. This challenge is also stated in the Romans text when Paul challenges us to let our love be genuine, hate what is evil, love one another, outdo one another in showing honor…” (v 1-2) Is our love and concern out of self-interest, or can we put others interests and well-being ahead of our own wishes? We have seen many fine examples of people helping others out these last two weeks after the storm that...

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