February 24, 2018                                                                                                    

Mark 8:31-33…“He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.” vs. 32

As Mark took time to write his little account of Jesus’ ministry, he was careful to let his readers know that Jesus was quite open in talking about the suffering that awaited him, but the disciples had been reluctant to listen. They had their own expectations about how the journey would transpire and they weren’t about to consider any alternatives. We can’t fault them too much—we regularly do the same things! Each of us have notions about the future, and we’re quite adept at ignoring signs that things may not go the way we want. Most of us like happy endings and we’re reluctant to consider the sadness that more than likely awaits. And that’s just fine! No one even likes to be around those who forecast gloom and doom—it makes life too depressing and we learn to fear the future. Jesus didn’t speak openly about his path in order to depress his disciples. In fact, we know that at other times he told them not to worry about tomorrow, that God would take care of them. He regularly says that they shouldn’t be afraid. So, if we choose to be optimistic about the road ahead we’ll be a joy to our fellow travelers…and a source of strength and hope when tough times do come. Being realistic about tomorrow does not mean abandoning confidence in God’s ultimate victory.

Thought for the Day: Was Jesus an optimist or a pessimist?