Mark 8: 31 – 38 – What Can I Give You?
Intro: I remember a number of years ago watching a television program called “What’s My Line?” --- The program was in black and white, so that tells you how long ago it was. The whole premise of the show was a panel of celebrities tried to guess the occupation of an individual by asking questions. --- What question might you ask of Jesus that would reveal to you his occupation?
I. People through the ages have attempted to explain who and what Jesus was to other people --- that’s called witnessing.
A. Could you explain to someone from Europe who Abraham Lincoln was and why he is important to you?
B. Could you do the same with Jesus?
C. Verse 31 – Son of Man – rejection, killed and rise again after 3 days. - there is much we can say about Jesus. Often it isn’t what we say about Jesus that tells others about him, it is what we do or don’t do as his follower.
II. Unfortunately, many times our faith makes it no further than our mouth. --- Many more times it isn’t even there.
A. We think it is OK to talk about Jesus in church; but, what about at work, in the grocery store, on the street or in our home?
B. Verse 32 – Jesus spoke plainly. --- Peter didn’t like it --- Why? --- Was it too drastic? --- Was it too ridiculous? --- Was it not what Peter wanted to hear?
C. I think the reason was it would require of Peter something he was reluctant to do. Many of us are also reluctant to do the same. We, like Peter are reluctant to sacrifice.
III. Verses 35 – 37 – Being a disciple of Christ REQUIRES sacrifice. What can you give? What are you willing to sacrifice?
A. Can you sacrifice honor for profit / principle for popularity / lasting things for the transitory / the eternal for now. --- WHAT CAN YOU GIVE?
B. Verse 38 – are you ashamed of Christ? Do you wear your Christianity like a gold cross hanging from a chain around your neck? --- WHAT WILL YOU GIVE?
C. The one thing Jesus will accept is the very thing we are most reluctant to give --- SELF! --- Jesus says to DENY YOURSELF! --- we do that by putting our own selfish desires, wants and needs on the back burner of life and do what is best for all God’s children.
Conclu: And you say, but right now I can’t give myself! --- What you are really saying is I won’t give myself, I won’t surrender! There’s got to be an easier way! --- W.C. Fields was caught one day thumbing through the Bible. When asked what he was doing, Mr. Fields answered, “I’m looking for loopholes.” --- What will you give?