Summary: Apostles, Pt. 8
HAVE THINE OWN WAY, LORD (MARK 8:27-33)
One of the most acclaimed Jim Carrey movies was “The Truman Show,” an inside look into future reality TV shows, a stunning prediction of the format’s runaway success and a biting commentary on its unrestrained excesses. The movie was about a man who was born, raised and filmed for 30 years to be the star of an unedited but popular 24-hour TV show watched by cameras, sponsors, viewers and audiences all round the world. It was the highest rated show, the biggest commercial success and thrilling to all except Truman, who did not know that his life was a fake, a show and a joke.
One day Truman’s car radio and the studio’s frequencies accidentally got tangled, and he heard the studio crew relaying to one another his car’s every turn. He then suspected his wife, his schedule and even his father’s drowning were part of a conspiracy to deter him from leaving the island movie set. Truman made a concerted effort to break away from the stage, the set and the studio. He put a dummy on his bed, sneaked out of the house and dodged the cameras to escape in a sailboat cross the man-made ocean.
Truman overcame the fear of waters caused by his TV father’s fake drowning, braved the man-made storm, thunder and lightning and, to his surprise, hit the wall at the end of the ocean to find an exit door out of the studio. Before he stepped out of the studio, the creator of the show boomed in a soothing voice from the skies, cajoling him to stay: “Listen to me, Truman. There’s no more truth out there than there is in the world I created for you. Same lies. The same deceit. But in my world, you have nothing to fear. I know you better than you know yourself.” Truman, however, shouted furiously, defiantly and triumphantly: “You never had a camera in my head!”
Everybody wanted Jesus to be who He was not. When Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the northern vicinity of Caesarea Philippi, He asked them who they thought He was and corrected any misconception of who He was. Peter, who was more insightful, verbal and spontaneous than other disciples, gave a ready answer to Jesus’ question. Peter’s answer, however, was full of misinformation, misconception and misinterpretation. Although Jesus had told other eyewitnesses to His miracles not to tell anyone what they had seen, including the leper (Matt 8:4, Mark 1:44 Luke 5:14), the blind men (Mt 9:30), Jairus’ household (Mark 5:43, Luke 8:56), and a man who was deaf and dumb (Mark 7:36), this was the first of two occasions (Matt 17:9, Mark 9:9) Jesus forbade His disciples to tell anyone what they have heard.
Why did the title of “Christ” receive so much attention from the Jews, create rising opposition to Jesus and produce such a reaction in Peter? Why did Jesus praise Peter’s confession, only later to denounce him? What in the world so greatly offended Peter that he had the audacity to criticize, oppose and rebuke Jesus?
Christ’s Suffering is Foretold, Not Forced
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” 30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. 31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. (Mark 8:27-31)
“Peanuts” cartoon strip’s Lucy stands between Charlie Brown and her brother Linus, with both hands on her hips, and voices her opinion: “I think it is possible to be too NICE!” She became more aggravated and swung her fists into the air, opening her mouth wide as she continues venting: “By golly, nobody’s gonna walk all over me! NO SIR! If anybody’s gonna do any walking, it’s gonna be ME!” Lucy then walks away with her back facing them, but not before she snaps grouchily into the air, completing her piece: “There’s only one way to survive these days...you have to walk over THEM before they walk over YOU!”
A sober Linus remarks to Charlie Brown when Lucy was out of sight: “It must be nice to have a philosophy that will sustain you in times of need!” (Reprinted in “This is Your Life, Charlie Brown.”)
Jesus Christ proclaimed, portrayed and predicted His coming as a crucified Messiah, but the news of a suffering, bleeding and dying Savior was not well received by the world or well-liked by his closest disciples. They were not ready for a persecuted, dying and crucified Messiah.