Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Do You Know This Man?

Today we live in a time of crisis, not a time of peace. Everywhere we turn, there are wars and rumors of war. In Europe, at the moment (2022), there are millions of Ukrainian refugees seeking refuge from the horror of the war. Such times test who we are, what we are made of, and what we build with.

In Mark, chapter 14, we are presented with many responses to crises, all connected to the Man we know as Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.

At the beginning of the chapter (v. 1-9), Jesus is in Bethany, and a woman with no name but with the faith and the deed that will make her famous throughout generations, anoints Christ’s head with very expensive perfume. Her gift matched the one who stood before her. She ignored the social norms of the day and faced the criticism of those at Jesus’s table. But, she knew this Man, and she did not hesitate; she knelt before Him and worshiped! It was a crisis of faith, and she passed with flying colors.

In the middle of the chapter (v. 43-50), Jesus is in Gethsemane Garden, and everybody is there, including Judas Iscariot. He came to kiss the Teacher and betray Him for 30 silver coins. It was a crisis of character, one that revealed the true state of Judas’s heart. He walked with Jesus, talked, listened, prayed, ate, and traveled. He also saw Jesus perform miracles, feed thousands, rebuke the winds and waves, raise the dead, and even still, he did not know this Man who stood before him. The greed and immediate satisfaction were much stronger than the faith-filled step into the unknown, holding onto the Messiah he got to know in the past three years. He left unchanged and his heart unbroken! Such a sad story and scary at the same time. He didn't know this Man, stumbled in this crisis, and never got up.

Finally, at the end of the chapter (v. 66-72), we find Peter sitting at the campfire outside of the high priest’s home. He was following Jesus from afar, afraid to be found out as the one who knows Him. It was a crisis Peter thought he would pass without breaking a sweat; after all, he was the one most ready to go to death and prison with this man. After all, he was the one who knew who He was, "Messiah, the Son of the living God! "(Matthew 16:16). After all, he was Peter, he knew this Man. But now suddenly, in the light of this campfire, a servant girl points her finger, and Peter caves in, denies, lies, then runs, and in the end, cries.

"I don't know this man you’re talking about!" (Mark 14:71)

He knew this Man, and in this crisis, he got to know Peter. But though Peter stumbled, he got up, shook the dust off, and eventually led the Church through birth and revival.

A crisis will reveal your weaknesses, your fears, and the state of your faith. It will also reveal the man or woman in the mirror, the God you serve, and how well you know "this Man.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, our faith in You is put to the test over and over again in our lifetime. As we grow in our relationship with You, help us to build strong faith that will stand the test of time and the trials of this life. Amen.

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