THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
JESUS AND THE GOSPEL
Today’s gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1
The proclamation of the gospel is of prime importance. First,
Jesus equates himself with the gospel, as he speaks of our
proper posture “for my sake and that of the gospel”
(v.8:35). Jesus is the gospel. Jesus is the good news. When
we proclaim this good news, we proclaim Jesus.
how we respond to the call to proclaim the gospel will determine
our eternal future. “Whoever is ashamed of me and of
my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son
of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s
glory with the holy angels.” (v.8:38). We live in a
faithless and sinful generation that ridicules faith. But
we are precisely called to be counter-cultural, to boldly
proclaim the gospel to a world that sorely needs to hear it.
If we are ashamed, or afraid, or preoccupied with lesser things,
then Jesus will also not recognize us at the final judgment.
live their lives on earth trying to enjoy life to the full.
This actually has led many to abandon their faith. Then what
they believe to be life turns out to be death. “For
whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever
loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save
it.” (v.8:35). The more we hold on to our life, the
more it slips out of our hands. What we need to do is to let
go and to let God. We deny ourselves, we empty ourselves,
we disdain our lives, then God can take hold of our lives
and allow us to live them really to the full.
How? “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.” (v.8:34b). We are
to be a servant, denying self for the sake of the Master.
We are to be a soldier, plunging into battle under the banner
of the cross. We are to be a son (or a daughter), following
our brother Jesus all the way home to the Father. In serving
the Master we are to witness to Jesus. In being a soldier
we are off to mission and war. In being a son we are called
to holiness as a true child of a holy God. We are martyrs,
we are warriors, we are saints.
said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, there are
some standing here who will not taste death until they see
that the kingdom of God has come in power.” (v.9:1).
Let us be counted among those. Let us not pass on from this
life without participating in the coming of the Kingdom of
God in our midst. We are already empowered to witness. Let
us deny ourselves in accepting every sacrifice, let us follow
Jesus all the way to the cross, let us witness to Jesus and
the gospel in the power of the Spirit.