Oh how we need this week in our post-Christian, postmodern, increasingly post-truth culture. A culture that debates not only the abstracts of truth (which man has done throughout the ages . . . think Pilate (Jn. 18:38)), but also seeks to redefine what was once considered unambiguous and without debate, tangible biology. Having decided to worship the creation rather than the Creator, ours is a culture increasingly given over to a collective futility of thinking. Claiming to be wise and enlightened, we are increasingly marked by foolishness and darkness, exchanging the truth–both abstract truth and physical truth–for a lie (Rom. 1:21-25).
And it would be naïve to think that, even though we are those who worship the Creator and recognize an objective truth and reality outside ourselves, we are not influenced by the culture around us. Naïve to think that our truth can’t be influenced and squeezed into the mold of the voices surrounding us. That our values, our priorities, our view on how we should live, cannot, to some degree, be influenced by the popular opinion of the world we come into daily contact with. That even though we have been given the mind of Christ (1Cor. 2:16), we can still set our minds on the things of man.
After all, if it could happen to to those who walked with Jesus when He walked, it can happen to us, as well.
And [Jesus] began to teach [His disciples] that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He said this plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
(Mark 8:31-33 ESV)
It’s a battle for the mind. A constant struggle as to whether we will set our minds on things above or on things of earth (Col. 3:2). Continually contending to cast down “arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” and to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2Cor. 10:5).
To not enter the fray for the mind is to run the risk we’ll find ourselves on the wrong side of the battle. Who wants to hear Jesus say to them, “Get behind me Satan!”
And so this week is important. We need this week to remind ourselves that, just as Jesus was rejected by the popular opinion of His day, today He is also refused entrance into the public square of discussion and debate. To remember, in a fresh and deep way, that Jesus came to suffer many things–things at the hands of sinful men because of men’s sin. That He was put to death–having been wounded for our transgressions, slain for our iniquity, once for all paying the price that we might know redemption, reconciliation, and regeneration. And that, after three days, He rose again–sin’s bondage broken, death’s reign defeated.
How important for us to seize the opportunity afforded this week to firmly set our minds on the things of God. So that, when we are asked the question, as Peter was long ago, “But who do you say that I am?” we might, stand firm, stand fast, and declare with renewed conviction and vigor:
You are the Christ! (Mark 8:29 ESV)
All because of grace. Ever for His glory.