Who do you say that I am?

I‘m so impressed with Jesus.

Does that seem funny to say?

While reading the book of Mark several times now I have had a lot of thoughts- a lot of reactions which might be confusing if I write all of them down here.
The big thing that hit me at about the third reading is something a classmate expressed really well. She said, “the Jesus that we pray to? He’s the same guy we’re reading about right now.” For me it was more of a feeling or a kind of paradigm shift. Reading this “action” gospel, this telling of the ministry of Jesus which uses the word “immediately” so much as to be comical, I was suddenly reading a letter written by a friend about a friend. It stopped being a history book or even a “holy” book and became a first hand account of a man I know well. He is right here….

With this in mind, the story becomes both funnier and harder to read. His disciples, for instance, are unbearably slow to understand. He comes to them walking on the water one night. Walking. On. Water. It says in Mark 6 that the disciples are in a boat, crawling along under wind and that Jesus was walking on the water and “meant to pass by them”. Wait. What? He’s just out for a late night stroll on the lake??? He would have just meandered past them but they see him and freak out. So he gets in the boat and the wind calms. Then? The disciples are “utterly astounded”. By the walking on water and His control over the wind? No. They are astounded about the loaves of bread that had been multiplied earlier. Huh?

What is telling is that by this point Jesus had done A LOT of miracles. He’s healing people, casting out demons, walking on water, calming storms with the words of his mouth and they’re like “man, that was a lot of bread!”

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It’s also harder to read because while Jesus is giving value to broken people- people who are so desperate for what Jesus has….(The woman with the 12 years of bleeding? The man possessed by the legion of demons? The blind man in Bethsaida that Jesus leads by the hand out of the village to heal? I hear their voices- “If I only touch His robe I will be healed”, “Please can I go with you, Jesus?!”
And I see his face. His face is looking right at them, searching the crowd, knowing their hearts. Jews, Gentiles, tax collectors, religious leaders, fishermen, demon possessed, paralyzed, blind. )
All of that and then he is betrayed. And then he is arrested and put on trial, mocked and murdered. This time I read the story and feel so angry and upset thatΒ  this was done to my friend.

To the disciples in chapter 8 Jesus asks, β€œDo you not yet understand?” Yes, there is miraculous provision. Yes, I will heal sickness.Β  But will your heart turn to me? Will you believe? When I offer my hand will you take it? Or, like the Pharisees will you get caught up in your religion or like Herod will you stay caught in your world of people pleasing and parties?

Currently one of my favorite songs is by Misty Edwards. She sings “He’s not a baby in a manger anymore. He’s not a broken man on a cross. He didn’t stay in the grave and He’s not staying in heaven forever….. He’s alive!”

Do you understand? Are you ready?

11 Comments

  1. Erica
    Apr 7, 2012

    http://www.calebwilde.com/
    His latest post? Is an argument for the theory that Jesus actually died of a broken heart. And dude is a funeral director (a young, Jesus loving, hipster one) so he’s sort of familiar with and fascinated by death. It’s a beautiful companion post to yours and Lenten reflection. Thank you for writing this.

    • pegster
      Apr 8, 2012

      Thanks for the link! This guy looks interesting…
      And thanks for commenting ! πŸ™‚

  2. Frances Re ynolds
    Apr 7, 2012

    I’m so glad to read this as I staart out my day. I couldn’t go to Good Friday service so this really “hits the spot”. Thanks Peggy.

    • pegster
      Apr 8, 2012

      Thank you, Frances! I missed you guys this weekend.

  3. angie
    Apr 7, 2012

    I’ve been thinking about your blog post all throughout the day. So simple, but so earthshattering…that the friend we pray to is the same amazing person we read about in the Bible. I love this.

    • pegster
      Apr 8, 2012

      Thank you, Angie. I’m grateful for the time I have right now to spend reading this big book.

  4. Sarah
    Apr 7, 2012

    I hope you don’t mind if I share this with my Sunday School class πŸ™‚

    • pegster
      Apr 8, 2012

      Ha. I was thinking about you in class the other day because, you know… I’m always talking. I pictured the two of us taking the same class and I pitied the hypothetical teacher πŸ™‚

      • Sarah
        Apr 8, 2012

        I wish I could take some awesome classes like you are in now!

        I read your blog to my class, and they liked it. It made them laugh and think and it went well with my lesson πŸ™‚

        • pegster
          Apr 8, 2012

          Nice! I wish I could have heard your lesson!

          • Sarah
            Apr 9, 2012

            The lesson itself was okay. We talked about Joseph of Arimathea and the women who went to the tomb Sunday morning. But we’ve been reading Mark a bit at a time over the last few weeks–slowly working our way through Passion Week, and I wanted to cap that by reaffirming that all of this happened to a *person* to whom we respond. Joseph responded to Jesus’s death with boldness–finally revealing himself as a follower and asking for his body (kind of a backwards response–usually it’s time to go into hiding when the leader of a movement is executed) The women also responded with boldness, by going to the tomb even when they were frightened to do so.

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