Questions are great. The right one can make a difference.
Try aligning your life on where the focus is on “What is the point?”
What’s The Point?
That is such a great question that provides a proper lens to process the actions and decisions of this journey we call life.
Look at your life, family, work, relationships, decisions… and ask yourself this simple question: What’s The Point?
It will definitely change your perspective and priorities; it may change your life. God’s goal for us is follow Jesus. Jesus is in charge. Jesus is the leader. Jesus is in the drivers seat. We have to get that and let Him direct our life. That is the point.
The point is to gain life, here and now.
What’s the point?
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange 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 reward each according to what he has done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Mt 16:24–28). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Having declared His person, Jesus now declared His work; for the two must go together. He would go to Jerusalem, suffer and die, and be raised from the dead. This was His first clear statement of His death, though He had hinted at this before. “And He was stating the matter plainly” (Mark 8:32, NASB).
Peter’s response to this shocking statement certainly represented the feelings of the rest of the disciples: “Pity Yourself, Master! This shall never happen to You!” Jesus turned His back on Peter and said, “Get behind Me, adversary! You are a stumbling block to Me!” (literal translation) Peter the “stone” who had just been blessed became Peter the stumbling block who was not a blessing to Jesus!
What was Peter’s mistake? He was thinking like a man, for most men want to escape suffering and death. He did not have God’s mind in the matter.
Where do we find the mind of God? In the Word of God. Until Peter was filled with the Spirit, he had a tendency to argue with God’s Word. Peter had enough faith to confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but he did not have the faith to believe that it was right for Jesus to suffer and die. Of course, Satan agreed with Peter’s words, for he used the same approach to tempt Jesus in the wilderness.
Today the cross is an accepted symbol of love and sacrifice. But in that day the cross was a horrible means of capital punishment. The Romans would not mention the cross in polite society. In fact, no Roman citizen could be crucified; this terrible death was reserved for their enemies.
Jesus had not yet specifically stated that He would be crucified (He did this in Matt. 20:17–19). But His words that follow emphasize the cross.
He presented to the disciples two approaches to life:
live for yourself
take up your cross
ignore the cross
follow the world
lose your life for His sake
save your life for your own sake
forsake the world
gain the world
keep your soul
lose your soul
share His reward and glory
lose His reward and glory
To deny self does not mean to deny things. It means to give yourself to Jesus and share in His shame and death. To take up a cross does not mean to carry burdens or have problems. To take up the cross means to identify with the Messiah in His rejection, shame, suffering, and death.
But suffering always leads to glory. This is why Jesus ended this short sermon with a reference to His glorious kingdom. This statement would be fulfilled within a week on the Mount of Transfiguration, described in the next chapter.