1 Samuel 8:1-22; Mark 8:31-38 / Isaiah 53:1-12
I. Jesus Explained the Cost of Redemption
A. Jesus began to explain His mission and the implications of His passive and active obedience to God; peace with God would be expensive beyond the dreams of His disciples. “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (Mark 8:31)
B. Jesus is the Suffering Servant of prophecy; since the Eden event, God’s people have known a terrible price must be paid for redemption and restoration. “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:1-12)
C. When Jesus removed the ambiguity about His mission, even the boldest of His followers could not cope with the implications. “And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.” (Mark 8:32)
D. On its own, the human mind does not think the way God thinks. “But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” (Mark 8:33) “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8) “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) Compare Adam and Eve in the Garden with Jesus in the Wilderness.
II. Then Jesus Explained the Cost of Discipleship
A. The way of the Redeemed is in the path of the Redeemer; discipleship is expensive. “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34) “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
B. The faithful way is totally counterintuitive. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:35)
C. Success is only genuine when it lasts; in war, only the last battle counts. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
D. Jesus faced the same temptation which carries people away into destruction. “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:8-10)
III. What Value Do You Place on Your Soul?
A. Each person must count the personal cost of faithfulness to Jesus. “Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:37)
B. Jesus is returning to set all things right; what will He see when He calls you to stand before Him at God’s throne on Judgment Day? “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38)
C. What will be on your mind as you stand before the Great White Throne? “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Galatians 6:14)