Proverbs 1.20-33

  • The traditional market place is the place of human hubbub and human interaction.
  • It is the sound of familiar voices all calling out for attention.
  • Buy this!, These are the cheapest you will find! Come here, let me talk with you!!!
  • In the end most inexperienced shoppers leave exhausted and heavy laden.
  • The market of competing voices is like the world in which we live.
  • They call for attention, success, money, power.
  • Others call for compassion, justice, some urge self-preservation, others self-destruction.
  • Which ones are right?
  • We make decisions time and time again based very often on what we hear from these voices.
  • There is one voice which can be heard is one is prepared to listen.
  • Proverbs call her Wisdom and she says ‘LISTEN TO ME’
  • God cares enough about our choices that he sends the voice of wisdom for us to hear.
  • In other scriptures she waits at the entrance of the city by the gate.
  • It takes a conscious effort to hear her but when we do –
  • We find peace and security.

Mark 8.27-38

  • An old story – Lady enters a jewelry show wanting to purchase a crucifix.  The retailer asks if she wants one empty or with a little man on it.
  • Our society has generally lost the knowledge of what the cross symbolises.
  • It is widely used and seen but not in the light of the passion of Christ.
  • The Romans when they invaded crucified thousands as they went forward.  
  • The crosses lined the roads as a sign of their power and dominance.
  • They soldiers danced in the blood of the children to show their complete disregard.
  • The cross for the Jews was sign of complete defeat, utter weakness, suffering and humiliation.
  • It is crucial we understand this if we are to understand the gospel itself and Peters response.
  • Jesus is at Caesarea Philippi and asks the question ‘Who do people say I am?’
  • Some say… others say… ‘You are…’
  • These are answers from the past.. John the Baptist, Elijah….
  • Their message can be put off till tomorrow.
  • Peter understands this is not the case.  By stating Jesus is the messiah he is stating the truth of the moment.  The end is here.
  • That can not be put off till tomorrow.
  • Peter the hears what will happen to Jesus.
  • His response is one of unbelief that anything could change from crucifixion.  Look at the thousands hanging.. nothing happens or will happen from it.
  • The response from Jesus is to rebuke Peter’s belief that God could not himself change such a thing.  This is where the devil works.  In hopelessness and what is thought to be impossible for God.
  • If then we want Jesus in our lives three things are needed.
  • We deny ourselves, we take up OUR cross and follow him.

James 2.18-26

  • If we deny ourselves we must be listening to the voice of wisdom.
  • If we take up our cross we have faith that God will do what is impossible through us.
  • If we follow him we are a called to act and serve others.
  • All faith leads to God including a dead faith. 
  • A living faith is one full of joy and it is shared with those who need it.  Like Peter.

Questions to reflect on:

In the market place of the world do we actively seek to hear the voice of wisdom?

If we do then what is our response to the words we hear?