Thursday, January 12, 2012

MrsDrPoe: The Cost of Discipleship, Part II

Welcome to this Theology Thursday on the blog!  As always, I invite you to open your Bibles with me as we look at another passage on the cost of discipleship.

In Mark 6:7-34, the gospel writer employs one of his favorite literary techniques to emphasize what it means to be a disciple of Christ.  In this 'sandwich' or story-within-a-story, Mark tells us about the sending out and return of the 12 apostles and the beheading of John the Baptist.

While the two stories in this sandwich are connected by the idea of teaching everyone- the apostles are going out to the surrounding country to proclaim repentance, and John is killed because he taught King Herod that his marriage was unlawful in God's eyes- they also emphasize that the cost of discipleship is everything.  

Throughout John's ministry, it is obviously that he has given his life for the Lord (dwelling in the wilderness, teaching the Word, dressed in camels' hair, eating locusts and wild honey, etc.), and at the end of his life on this earth, his martyrdom reiterates that he had indeed put to death his old man daily.

The apostles are just beginning their ministry when they are sent out two by two with nothing but the gospel and their trust and faith in the Lord to aid them in their journey.  As they return at the end of this passage to tell Jesus of their travels, Christ again shows them by forfeiting His own rest to show compassion on those in the multitude who are like sheep without a shepherd that being like the Lord means daily self sacrifice to His work!

As we saw in Luke passage last week, Christianity only leads to daily death on the cross, and we must be willing to pay this price to truly follow the Lord.


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