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Bible Book: Mark / Markus
Chapter: 8
Verse: 27
Verse (to): 38

Mark 8:27-38

Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ or Messiah has played a fundamental role throughout the history of the church. What a wonderful example to follow! It is obvious that Mark tells his story in such a way that he invites his readers to follow Peter in this confession.
Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?”, and the confession of Peter (v 29) form the turning-point in Mark’s gospel. From this point onward the story moves quickly to the last week in Jerusalem and Jesus’ crucifixion. Many Christians can also look back on their journeys with God and realise how their own moment of confessing Jesus as Messiah or Saviour has been a turning-point.
However, upon reading the passage from verse 27 to verse 38, it soon becomes clear that there is much more at stake than a mere verbal confession. After Peter’s confession Jesus explains that He, the Christ, will suffer rejection and a violent death and will rise from the grave (v 31). Furthermore, He explains that He expects his disciples to choose to follow Him on this journey (v 34).
Jesus concludes his call to discipleship with these remarkable words: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (v 38 – NLT).
Does this warning not to be ashamed of Christ apply only to our self-consciousness in confessing his Name in the world in which we live? Or is it possible that Jesus was challenging his disciples specifically not to be ashamed of Him as the suffering Christ, of his willingness to be crucified, of his disfigured body on the cross?
In Rom 1:16 Paul declares, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (RSV). Therefore Paul was not ashamed to minister to Greeks – contrary to how he was brought up as a Jew. In Hebrews 2:11 we read that “Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters” (NIRV). According to Hebrews 11:16, “God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (NIV).
The opposite of “ashamed of” is a positive attitude. Therefore, to be “not ashamed of someone” means to be willing to associate with or stand alongside the person.
To think about or discuss: Is it possible that we may be “ashamed of Christ” when we are ashamed to call all his brothers and sisters our brothers and sisters? Is it possible that we show “shame for Christ” when we dissociate from his brothers and sisters who are living with HIV and Aids?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English

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