Todays readings.. Exodus 22, Psalm 75&76, Mark 8
“WILL … BE ASHAMED WHEN HE COMES”
“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes … “ [Mark 8 v.38] Why would we be ashamed of Jesus? Notice, he specifically refers to his words!
What has Jesus said that we would be ashamed of talking to our neighbours about? Isn’t it our responsibility to try and share our faith with others?
Next week in Mark we will read in Mark 12 that the second commandment is “You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these” [v.31] Yet today, when you have a neighbour who is totally godless, it is difficult! Why? Do we feel ashamed of what we believe? If so, why?
When Jesus rebuked Peter because he refused to believe that Jesus was going to be killed, he said to him, “you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” [v.33] Let us try harder to set our minds on the things of God. In doing so, we will recall that even in the Law God gave the Israelites through Moses, the Old Testament,(Leviticus 19 v.18) there is the command “you shall love your neighbour as yourself” – this has been a command for all ages. What a different world this would be if that command was carried out! And who can doubt but that it will be expected of those who live in God’s Kingdom.
Should we be training for God’s Kingdom now? What better way to show your love for your neighbour than by encouraging them to believe in the words of Jesus! We must try to speak to them in the spirit of love, a desire to share something precious, our pearl of great price! This will be reflected in the words that we choose, remembering also that we see each other as much by what we do – as by what we say. We must seek wisdom from above in doing this.
Recall the words of James; he wrote, “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” [3 v.17] Finally – remember the reply of Jesus when someone asked him, “and who is my neighbour?” Read Luke 10 v.29