We focus on the Gospel of the day as we celebrate the confession of St. Peter. Our devotion is from God’s Word for Today: Mark.
2 Peter 1:1–15
Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.
Read 8:31–33. Jesus did not use the title Christ for Himself, probably because of the false expectations associated with it. But once the disciples recognized that He was the Christ, Jesus began to instruct them about what His mission as the Christ entailed, what God’s plan for the Messiah was. What did Jesus teach His disciples that He, the Christ, would have to do? How did Peter show that this was not his idea of what the Christ would do? Where did Jesus say Peter’s ideas came from?
Jesus taught that He must suffer many things, be rejected by the religious leaders, be killed, and after three days rise again. Peter showed that this didn’t fit with his expectations of the Messiah by rebuking Jesus. Jesus indicated that Peter’s ideas came from Satan, who sought to keep Jesus from His mission.
Read 8:34–9:1. This concept of a suffering Messiah had implications also for the disciples of the Messiah. What did Jesus teach that all who would be His disciples must do (8:34)? What does that mean?
Jesus taught that all who would be His disciples must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. To deny oneself means to cease to be devoted to oneself, to remove oneself from the center of one’s life. A common practice in Jesus’ day was that those who were condemned to die by crucifixion had to carry the crossbar of their cross to the execution site. By using this figure of speech Jesus was saying that His disciples must be willing to suffer and die for His sake. Jesus called His disciples to follow Him on a path of self-denial and cross-bearing. Like Jesus, His disciples were to do the will of God, even if that meant sacrificing everything, including their lives.
Note that in 8:31, 38, Jesus used His favorite self-designation, “the Son of Man.” Since this was a common Aramaic expression, the disciples may not have immediately caught its implications. But by using it in contexts like 8:38 while discussing His glory, Jesus showed that He is the Son of Man of Daniel 7:13–14. How is the Son of Man pictured there?
The Son of Man in Daniel is a heavenly figure, yet distinct from God the Father, the Ancient of Days. The Son of Man is given sovereign power and glory and authority. That He too is God is shown by the fact that He is worshiped. He is worshiped by people of all nations. His is an everlasting kingdom.
Devotional reading is adapted from God’s Word for Today: Mark, pages 33–34, 88 © 1996 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Merciful Savior . . . my times are in Thy hand, and therefore I fear no evil; for Thou art able to preserve and keep those who put their trust in Thee. Thou hast redeemed me from all sins and hast rescued me from the destruction of eternal death. Therefore I put myself into Thy hands and as a child trust in Thy mercy, knowing that Thy love for me is greater than that of a mother.
Let me not doubt Thy promises nor question Thy power to help. Fill me with patience to wait for Thy appointed time. As the Great Physician of my soul, cleanse me from every sin and blot out every transgression. Give me strength to believe day after day, so that I may rise above every discouragement that wants to distress my soul. . . . Amen.
Prayer is from The Burden Made Light, page 67 © 1937 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.