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Jesus Christ – Body Builder II: A fellowship of Disciples
Have You taken Up the Cross?
Matthew 16:13-28 (ESV)
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.  And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”  But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?  For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.  Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
I We Are Called to Die
1. Have you ever had a job where you were asked to do things that you just didn’t think were part of the job description? You signed up to be an executive assistant and the boss asks you to empty the recycling bin. You gripe about it but then you are shown that little bit of fine print in the contract that says that among your duties are those requests from the supervisor that contribute to the well being of the office. When I was mining in the Yukon I was told that if I couldn’t pound a ten inch spike into a post in four hits with the back of an axe I wasn’t fit for the job. That wasn’t in the job description anywhere but I soon learned that complaining about it wasn’t going to do me a bit of good. We are all asked to do things in our jobs that don’t quite fit with what we thought the job was going to be about. Somebody should have told us, warned us, pulled us aside when we were applying for the job and gave us a clue as to what this job was really going to include. Continue reading