Gleanings – Might Subdues but Grace Transforms!

Mark 8:27-9:1

“Get behind me, Satan!”

I wonder how long those words haunted Peter. It is painful to hear you are on the wrong side of an argument especially with such a stinging rebuke.

Peter was classically trained. Might means right. This suffering, rejection and dying notion was novel to him. He could not imagine how the two could be reconciled. Since victory was the only option for the Messiah, particularly his Messiah, what seemed like defeat was not an option at all. Understood! After all, as already said, Peter was classically trained.

However, Jesus teaches us something radically at odds with conventional wisdom and classical training. Real power is exercised through sacrifice, through a willingness to suffer for the welfare of others. Might may subdue people for a season but grace/love communicated through sacrifice has the power to transform and transform eternally.

Let me trot out my well-worn example. Civil rights legislation, as just as it is to treat people equally and necessary as the legislation is among broken people, does NOT change people. It can be enforced under threat of great pain including incarceration and fines. It will not, however, make anyone appreciate the equality of another person. Only a transformed heart can do that. Only realizing that Jesus died for all equally regardless of color, gender or class will help me with that.

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