Mark 8: 27-35
Second Sunday in Lent
March 1, 2015
TEXT: "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel will save it". Mark 8:34-35
In a parable of life, a man is rowing his boat on a lake. Inscribed on one oar is the word, "Faith." on the other oar is the word "Works." The oars are symbolic of our ministry as followers of Christ. If that man pulls on only one oar at a time, he will get nowhere. The boat will go around in circles.
In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus asks the disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" The Apostle Peter answers, "You are the Messiah" (Mk. 8:29). Peter was identifying Christ as the Messiah of God, his Lord and Savior. That's Faith! Then Jesus went on to teach the disciples that He "must suffer many things." He described His mission on earth as sacrificial. And He made it clear that the same would be true in the mission of the disciples. "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves,” Jesus said. Let them “take up their cross and follow Me”. (Mk. 8:29). That's Works!
It is not a matter, on the one hand, of saying "You are the Christ" and on the other hand taking up your cross. Unless you are living your faith, you are going around in circles, faith and works must pull together, in this sense. They are inseparable.