Setting Your Mind on the Things of God1
I am so thankful that the perfect scriptures honestly record the imperfections of its people.
- (Mark 8:4) - The disciples want to send away 4,000 hungry people, even though Jesus had already proved (Mark 6) that He could feed 5,000.
- (Mark 8:16) - Jesus warns them about the heart attitude (leaven) of the Pharisees and the disciples think He's upset that they didn't bring any bread to snack on.
- (Mark 8:23) - When Jesus asks the blind man, "Do you see anything?" It's almost as if He is trying to get His disciples to answer the same question.
I don't know about you, but I am greatly encouraged by the dullness of the disciples. Their lack of faith gives me hope that I can grow. As I read Mark's gospel, I find it comforting how very often they...
- Need Jesus to explain His parables
- Misinterpret something He tells them
- Stress out over life
- Get caught up in their own petty pursuits
- Completely miss the point
That being said, sometimes they get things right! In Mark chapter 8, Peter gets something as right as he could possibly get, followed quickly by getting something as wrong as he could possibly get.
- (Mark 8:29) - Peter, speaking for the rest of the disciples, correctly answers Jesus' question, "Who do you say that I am?" If we had seen what Peter had seen, what else could we conclude? "You are the Christ!"
Eugene Peterson writes:
That question and that answer center life. With that question and that answer, we're at the core of things. In Mark's telling of the gospel, he put this question and this answer at the exact center of his story. Literally, it is at the center of Mark's gospel, just as it is experientially at the center of our lives. God puts the question to each one of us and waits for our answer.
- He is here to be answered, not questioned: Will you worship the God who made you?
- He is here to be recognized, not looked for: Will you believe in the God who loves you?
- He is here to be received, not bargained with: Will you accept the God who saves you?
From Conversations: The Message With Its Translator by Eugene Peterson
Then, the unthinkable happens...
- (Mark 8:32) - Peter rebukes Jesus! The Lord had just taken the disciples' revelation of who He really was as His invitation to tell them what He must do to truly deliver them. Upon hearing that the Christ is to suffer and die, Peter decides to correct the theology of the one who is Theos. Wow!
Peter's response gets the supreme rebuke from Jesus. "Get behind me, Satan!" Why? "For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."
Lord Jesus, I want to recognize you for who you really are AND I want to delight in the plan you have for me and the plan you have for this world. I don't want to second guess you. I confess that all too often, I am just like Peter. I set my mind on the things of man, instead of setting my mind on the things of God. Just like Peter, there are times when I actually think I know better than you. Please Lord, forgive my presumption.
BOBBY PRUITT | Lead Pastor