Here are my thoughts on Mark 8:31-38, the study passage for the Men’s study group of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church that meets on Thursday mornings for February 19th.
Here we find the first of three times in the gospel of Mark where Jesus predicts his death and resurrection (8:31; 9:31; 10:33, 34.) This of course is not what the disciples or we want hear. Despite the prophecies of the old testament we look to Jesus as the all powerful savior; rather than the servant savior that he is.
Speaking plainly to the disciples and directly to Peter, Jesus challenges them and indirectly us to focus on the ways of God and not those of man. How often do we ignore the voice of God and turn our hearts and deeds to the ways of men? In doing so we allow Satan to pull us from the path that God has prepared for us. Despite our continued wandering Jesus remains constant and welcomes us back to the one true flock.
In the second portion of this passage Jesus reminds us that we are all called by God. He challenges us to pick our own cross and follow in his path. Once more we are called to put aside our earthly pursuits and to focus on the ways of God. We are called to follow Jesus and proclaim the good news of salvation in our words and deeds. By doing so we will be recognized by Jesus when he returns in glory.
You can find Mark 8:31-38 at the Bible Gateway web site.