In chapter 9 we have the transfiguration of Jesus. Jesus revealed His true glory for a moment. What will it be like to be in Jesus’ presence when His prayer for John 17 is answered and we see the glory He has always had with the Father?
What does it mean to “take up your cross and follow Jesus? (Mark 8:34-35) Our culture has sanitized this charge to mean anything from setting aside our ego to putting up with irritating neighbors. In Jesus’ time, the cross had one meaning, a painful death. Taking up a cross meant a painful journey down death row, in other words it meant being willing to die rather than deny Jesus.
This past week, I had the opportunity to meet with a Christian doctor from Pakistan. He shared that even today young Christian girls are kidnapped and if they will not renounce their faith they are forced to marry older Muslim men, or are raped and killed. Blasphemy laws punish anyone who says anything negative about Allah or the Koran with death. Christians are routinely killed for refusing to convert to Islam.
What would we do in these situations? My Pakistani brother warned us that as Islam expands into our country we may have that decision to make.
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