In Mark 10, we’ve been seeing the different obstacles and barriers that people face or create for themselves when it comes to knowing Jesus. It is so important that we do not put barriers up to others. There is however, one barrier that none of us can avoid.
Peter has responded to the sad case of the man who loved money too much by describing the way that the disciples have given up everything. Jesus acknowledges this and makes a startling promise. He tells Peter, that although they are giving things up now, the cost is nothing compared with the great reward of eternity to come.
Yet, there is a path, a journey to travel first. Jesus must face his accusers, be tried, mocked, beaten and then suffer death on a cross. Before the joy of the kingdom is the suffering of death. Earlier, Peter has struggled to accept this and sought to correct Jesus but here in the middle of the Gospel, we see the point repeated several times.
“The Son of Man[h] will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans.[i] 34 They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.”
The Apostle Paul will later insist that whilst he is willing to become all things to all men, The Cross itself is an offensive thing, a stumbling block for proud people, for religious people, for intellectuals. At some point we all have to be humbled by the truth that The Cross speaks. We have to recognise that we cannot earn God’s love and affection. We cannot save ourselves. We are completely dependent upon a wounded, dying, crucified Saviour.
- Have you reached that point where you are completely and solely dependent upon the cross of Christ?
- How can we make sure that The Cross is the only stumbling block people might face whe they come to our church?