Where Jesus suffered
Though it will cost
All you claim as yours
Your sacrifice will seem small
Beside the treasure
Eternity can't measure
What Jesus holds in store."
Mark 8 develops this theme beginning with feeding the 4,000, Jesus confronting the wrong thinking of the Pharisees & asking the disciples thought-provoking questions and concluding with the costs of embracing the cross.
For a second time, Jesus felt compassion for the multitude because they had nothing to eat for three days. He instructed the disciples to feed them with their seven loaves. Jesus multiplied their resources including a few small fish so that seven large baskets were left over (Mark 8:1-10).
The Pharisees argued seeking a sign from heaven to test Christ. After sighing deeply in His spirit that they were seeking miracles instead of Him, He left them (Mark 8:11-13).
Jesus then told His disciples to watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod. He confronted their hardened heart by reminding them of how many loaves were left over after feeding the 5,000 and 4,000 (Mark 8:14-21).
Jesus healed a blind man, which restored him to full health and enabled him to see everything clearly. He sent him to his home saying, "Do not even enter the village" (Mark 8:22-26).
Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" They told Him John the Baptist, Elijah and one of the prophets. He questioned them, "But who do y0u say that I am?" Peter answered, "Thou are the Christ or Messiah." He warned them to tell no one about Him (Mark 8:27-30).
Jesus rebuked Peter's worldly mindset, which didn't believe Christ would experience suffering, rejection, death and resurrection on the third day. He then shared the following costs in following Him as a disciple:
1. Deny yourself, take up cross and follow Christ
2. Lose life for Christ's sake and the gospel's in order to find it
3. Prioritize peoples' souls over worldly gain
4. Don't be ashamed of Christ and the gospel (Mark 8:31-38).
Consider the following questions:
1. What does embracing the cross mean to you?
2. In what ways are you denying yourself and taking up the cross?
3. Is your career more important than centering your life around the gospel?
4. How have you compromised to fit into the world's system rather than being unashamed of the gospel?
5. How will you begin focusing on God's interests instead of your own?