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【Message】If any want to become my followers

Second Sunday in Lent
February 28, 2021

The International Congregation of St. Agnes Church,
the diocese of Kyoto, The Anglican Church in Japan 

Mark 8:31-38

“The Son of Man.” Jesus called himself “the Son of Man.” 

“Son of Man” means originally a humankind who is weak and mortal. 

But in the book of Daniel, a prophet, “one like the Son of man”(KJV) or “one like a human being”(NRSV) seems to be a messianic title.

So “the Son of Man” is a hidden title of Jesus, that is the Messiah.

Jesus said in the Gospel today, “the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. ”

Why must Jesus undergo great suffering? Why must Jesus be rejected and killed?

Because the generation, this world, was adulterous and sinful.

But because Jesus loved the world and desired to save people.

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Now Jesus calls us, and says to us. ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Do we want to become his followers? Do you want to follow him?

“let them deny themselves and take up their cross…”

This is not easy, but very hard, we feel.

However Jesus wants to make us free from our anxiety, from our restlessness, cowardice, and selfishness.

If we receive his word and welcome Jesus, he will come into us and our old selves will go out away. When we take up our cross, when we bear a burden for neighbors and the gospel, then Jesus will work with us and fill us with peace, grace, and life.

Jesus said to them, 

“Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father”

This is not his wish. Jesus does not want be ashamed of us. He wants to be pleased with us. May his wish be in our hearts. It makes us grow as his disciples.

Those who are pleased with him and with his words, Jesus, the Son of Man, will be pleased with them, when he comes in the glory of his Father.

Those are we. Jesus is pleased with us.

We are invited to be his followers and to his joy. Amen