“The Rejection of Jesus and His Disciples and His Followers Found in the Gospel of Luke chapter 9 vv 18-27”
My dear Christians and non-Christians and you of all faiths, thoughts, and all views and opinions. I bid and ask you to join with me in another voyage of intellectual discovery where those of you who may wish to engage in critical thinking and do not engage in and accept media lies, media falsehoods, political code words, and hype can join with me in the effort to gain truth and facts amid the barrage of corruption and virtual darkness we are confronted with and befuddled and made effective fools of. I welcome you in this quest and task of attaining and coming to know intellectual honesty and honest discernment. Do join with me in this voyage of discovery to get at and find what is valid and authentic in the world of confusion and come with me in tearing apart the curtain of lies and darkness that hides from us what is truth and facts.
Ladies and Gentlemen: I will once again set about to explain and interpret another gospel passage, this time found in the gospel of Luke chapter 9 vv 18-27 and do so with hesitation and humility, and am honored to have the great privilege of even attempting to grasp and comprehend the words and mind of the son of God, the savior of the world, and redeemer of all mankind, and of all generations to come, present, and in the past.
The words of the gospel passage are as follows: “Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him and he asked them, ‘Who do the people say that I am?’ And they answered, ‘John the Baptist; but others say, Elijah; and others that one of the old prophets that has risen.’ And he said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ And Peter answered, ‘The Christ of God.’ But Jesus charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, ‘The Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and be killed and on the third day be raised.’ And he said to all, ‘If any man would come after me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will taste death before they see the kingdom of God.’”
My dear friends and colleagues, this passage contains two I think two-fold messages that Jesus wants us to grasp and understand. Jesus asks who people say he is and the answer is given that they say he is John the Baptist/Elijah or one of the old prophets arisen. Then Peter gives the correct answer, that he is the Christ of God. The key here is that Jesus answers that he is in essence God or Christ, the agent and person of the living God and, moreover, it is Peter who gives the right answer. We are told that Peter has a unique position as the basis and cornerstone of the newly founded mission church, a universal church beyond Jewish Palestinian nationalism, embracing and including all men and women of all nations, races and peoples. And then in claim of his divinity and divine mission, he predicts once again the suffering he must endure, his death, and his resurrection. In both instances here lies Jesus’ unequivocal claim to be God. His reference to John the Baptist, Elijah and the prophets is a common misunderstanding of the nature of Jesus, which is not that of a human being or at least he is partially human but we are being informed of his claim to divinity and to be in essence God, a clam many people in our modern world reject. His claim of divinity and to be God, or at least an agent of God, is a claim that divides the Christian understanding on who Jesus is and non-Christians who may say he is a prophet and great teacher and nothing more.
There is a second strand of thought here: Jesus makes clear that in following him there is involved great sacrifice and great difficulties. He says we must to follow him, take up his cross and in a most exact and perceptive comment says that those who embrace the world and its values in an effort to win out and think to gain their life or what they may want will lose out in the end. Even in their life if they gain the whole world, of what good is it if they lose themselves and the gift of eternal life in heaven.
Jesus ends with the cautionary words that those who reject Christ in their life and are ashamed of him, of them Christ will be ashamed when he returns in glory. Again Jesus speaks of his return to the new and remade world in judgment and love and warns that there are some there who will die before they see the kingdom of God.
Jesus speaks here of his coming suffering. Peter here confesses Jesus as the messiah or God’s anointed, but this is not to be divulged.
To be the messiah is to suffer in accord with God’s purposes and plans. The mission of Jesus as the suffering son of man for all who follow him involves self sacrifice. The disciples must deny their self-centered life for the sake of and in order to follow Jesus.
The thought here is of the Christian who acknowledges the gospel under persecution and that he will share in the glory of Christ. Peter’s answer here as he speaks for the disciples stems from what he has seen Jesus do and focuses on Jesus’ power to save the needy from the forces of evil. Luke alerts his readers that opposition to Jesus will mount and will lead to his death. The term “son of man” is now used to describe Jesus’ humiliation. Behind the opposition to Jesus lies God’s plan for his vindication in his resurrection. A profound commitment to Jesus is a basis for losing one’s life to bring about the kingdom.
My dear Christian and non-Christian friends and comrades:
I do hope you have gained some benefit from my literary excursus here and urge you most importantly and most essentially to return to the biblical text where we both will seek to come to a knowledge of the person and words and mind of Jesus, the son of God and the savior and redeemer of the world now and forever.