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He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. Mark 8:31

Read: Mark 8:30–33

Listen: Mark 8


Jesus had a clear view of his mission on earth and tried many times to help his disciples understand. They were a bit slow on the uptake. In today’s verses, Jesus teaches that his mission included suffering, rejection, death and service. Not really what anyone wants to sign up for.

That’s probably why the disciples struggle so much. They have a different vision of what God wants to do in the world. They want Jesus to muster up an army and fix the world by force. In short, they’re locked into a wrong vision of what God wants to do. Peter, at one point, pulls Jesus aside and tries drawing him off his mission. That’s probably why Jesus calls Peter “Satan,” recognizing that Satan had already tried to tempt Jesus with power. However, the mission of Jesus would not be thwarted. Instead of conquering sinners by force, he would suffer on their behalf.

We also struggle to understand the mission of Jesus. History is full of examples of Christians pursuing bad things in the name of Christ. It’s so easy for us to assume we know what God wants to do in the world, our families and our jobs. But if we’re honest, these ideas rarely include us suffering and serving. Yet, the mission of our Messiah and Lord is to suffer and serve sinners. We shouldn’t be surprised that following him includes our suffering for him and opportunities to serve those around us.


Find a quiet place where you can be alone with God. Confess to him that you are often on your own mission and not his. Ask him to forgive you and to help you stay on his mission.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.