Take Up Your Cross: Follow Jesus by Joining the Resistance (Mark 8:27-38; Lent 2B)


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Welcome to “Bible Study for Progressives,” a show where moderates, liberals, and leftists of all faiths and ideologies come together to discuss scripture, spirituality, and politics.

On this show, we will read Mark chapter 8 verses 27 to 38 as ask what it means to “take up one’s cross and follow Jesus.” Jesus was tortured and executed by the authorities. Does following Jesus mean being willing to die for our faith?

And what does it mean to die for one’s faith? Is it limited to dying because one is a Christian, or does it include suffering with the marginalized and oppressed? I believe “taking up our cross” means putting our lives on the line for justice, mercy, and faith (Matthew 23:23).

People don’t like the idea of martyrdom, and “taking up one’s cross” sounds a lot like martyrdom, especially when Jesus tells the disciples how he will be killed by the authorities. A martyr is someone who dies because of his faith. To kill someone because of his religion is always a political act, especially when the authorities carry out the execution.

The Gospels and the Bible are political documents. The stories are filled with political intrigue. The political implications of the God’s reign should not be ignored.

The combination of religion and politics is controversial. On this show, we will consider this controversy in the light of scripture. For citations to scripture, please see my article “Take Up Your Cross: Following Jesus by Joining the Resistance” at modernlectionaries.blogspot.com.

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