As we talked about last week, lots of times people do not go to rehab willingly. Although there are exceptions, most of the time intervention is required.
This week is about recognizing our need for intervention as we continue to prepare ourselves to live the way of Jesus. It’s one thing to recognize you’re in the wilderness. It’s another to realize, once there, that what you think you know from your previous experience not only can’t help you now, but may actually do you or others harm.
The good news is, Jesus is Lord, and he will have none of that. He rebukes Peter, and us, right back. Our worship this week seeks to help dramatize not just the Scripture (Mark 8:31-38), but the larger situation we find ourselves in during this season of intense preparation to live the way of Jesus. We need to hear and see Jesus “up in our faces,” as it were, setting us straight on what it really takes to follow him. We need intervention if we’re going to escape the lies this culture tells and gets up in our faces about when it comes to what success looks like. Peter wasn’t wrong about what his culture and our culture has deeply taught us. But these cultures have lied and keep their lies alive and strong.
Success in the way of Jesus looks like self-denial, not self-aggrandizement. It looks like walking straight into places of suffering, even when they endanger us. It is not avoiding or somehow “living above” them. And it involves actively following Jesus as we do so, not trusting in whatever we think our instincts have taught us to do, because the instincts of many of the best of us are still terribly malformed or unformed in Jesus’ ways.