We travel today with Jesus as he was leaving Caesarea Philippi, in the far northern region of ancient Israel. Named for the Roman Caesar, located in what is now known as the Golan Heights, a site of contention to this day, Syrian land occupied by Israeli allure. Even after these years together, the disciples still imagine Jesus supplanting the great Caesar, scattering Rome’s legions, restoring the glory of Judea’s lost splendor, fulfilling its remembered boast as the capital of nations.
And now this! What is this gibberish about “the Son of Man must suffer,” rejected, kicked to the curb, tracked and targeted by the drones of imperial purpose and religious conceit.
“No!” screams Peter, mouth in gear before his brain engaged.
“Yes!” retorts Jesus, lashing back in harsh rejoinder.
Peter, the one who—just days before—identified Jesus as Messiah, prompting Jesus’ praise, now stands accused: Satan. Confuser. Might we, too, still stand confused?
“If you choose to walk my Way,” Jesus continued, “lay down your claims—which are but chains—pick up the cross, and follow.”
“Those who would bank their lives and barter their souls for short-term profit will end up with big-time loss.”
“Yet those who relinquish, for my sake’s endeavor, will find bountiful treasure, unbounded delight.”
©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org. Inspired by Mark 8:31-18.