Mortein and the Messiah

I recently shared a motel room with a few Mosquitos and a number of other insects. I covered myself in aeroguard to try and keep them away… Which had a temporary effect, but they kept coming back to bug me (if you’ll excuse the pun). It wasn’t until I noticed the tin of mortein sitting in the corner of the room that i knew things could change. It was always there, it always had the power to solve my dilemma, but it was no good sitting in the can. But it would be also no good if I sprayed it on myself. Instead, I needed to heed its instructions and spray it on the insects and around the area to allow its power to bring change.

In the incredible reading we have this morning, Peter acknowledges that Jesus is the Messiah. It’s not a new idea for Jesus. He always had been the messiah. But now Peter had noticed and recognised him. He no longer needed to sit in Peters proverbial corner.

To not act on what he now saw and knew would be disastrous… Unimaginable. (Seriously, I can’t imagine not using the mortein once I spotted it!) To act in the wrong way (even if well meaning) would be equally disastrous.

That’s why Jesus quickly tells Peter and the others:

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:23-26)

Seeing Jesus is similar to seeing the mortein (obviously way more significant but roll with me). If I see it and do nothing, I’m a fool. But more so, if I see it and then act on it in a way other than intended, the result could be equally disastrous. Mortein is to be sprayed around, not put on ones body like aeroguard. Disciples of the Messiah are called to “deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” not to claim salvation while living in indulgence and self fulfilment like the rest oft he world.

I’m finding these verses more and more challenging. I wonder if I’m using the mortein like aeroguard. I think I’m good at equating denying self to nearly the equivalent to junk food denial on a diet. Carrying a cross daily, well who would want to intentionally live in such discomfort or disgrace really? Following Jesus… As long as he takes me where I want to go. Have we made discipleship much more comfortable than what Jesus asked us to!

I wonder if we pause for a moment this morning and ask Jesus afresh how he would like us to fulfil his call of discipleship today. Just today. What blessing might come into the world if we each see the messiah and respond the way he calls us to rather than the way we want to?

I’d love to hear how you are going in this quest!


2 thoughts on “Mortein and the Messiah

  1. Uncomfortable thoughts Ron. Carrying a cross daily. Thanks to Jesus I don’t have to carry his but my own. I assume it’s dying to self and living for Him…….whatever the cost.

  2. Thanks Ron. This is an area of discipleship that we really need practical teaching on the “how to do this”. How do I die to my wants, my needs and put the interests of others before what I want, what I need etc. In wanting to learn this “calling” I have found the best place to start is in my own home. That is where everyone really knows me. Its pretty easy being a Christian around other Christians, – most of the time,- but its in the home where my family see how selfish I can be. How unforgiving I can be. Need I go on. If coming under conviction from the Holy Spirit when He shows me that i need to grow in this area I must first ask for His help. Because in my own flesh nothing good dwells in me. God equips us for doing this even if we start with baby steps all He is looking for is a heart that is willing.
    Praise God for the Blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all unrighteousness. So that we can be washed clean when we fail, dust our selves off and press on. I can only imagine what this world would look like if all the Christians living in it would sincerely learn how to deny self, take up their cross and follow Christ.
    Each person will have a different cross to carry. For some it might be and unbelieving spouse, others a child who is living in sin, for others an addiction that they need Gods Grace to help them get through the day. For others they may be totally misunderstood and rejected by many. But Gods Grace is enough to get us through.
    A little book that helped me to understand this “calling” when I first became a Christian called, The Calvary Road by Roy Hessian explained clearly how we are to live this out it. Its worth tying to get hold of a copy.

    God change us, change me.

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