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What were you expecting?

by on March 2, 2015

Peter’s response to Jesus in Mark 8 seems foolish to us, as we look back at the story of the Gospels with the benefit of hindsight. Of course Peter and the disciples should have at least been able to pay attention to what Jesus was trying to explain to them about the necessity of the cross. Their failure to pick up on Jesus’ teaching about the cross is a key theme for the second half of Mark’s Gospel.

Mark highlights this point in part to show how even though no one else was prepared for it, Jesus always planned to go to the cross willingly. While it was a surprise for the disciples, it wasn’t a surprise to him. But he also highlights this them for the benefit of his Christian readers decades (and for us, centuries) later.

It is critical to recognize that God works in unexpected ways, that may even feel contradictory to how we would expect Him to be working. We, like the disciples, can easily ask how there can possibly be redemption in the midst of the intense suffering and loss. Yet the Gospel reminds us that there is no sin, no pain, no struggle that is beyond God’s redemption. God often works outside of our expectations, and if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, we may become aware that His plans are far more marvelous than those expectations.

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