Jesus is talking to Jewish believers and makes the promise that if they are faithful to his teachings then they will really be his disciples. A disciple is a student -- one who is learning from the master. Later they may be "sent" to do God's work. Then they are called apostles. We should all be disciples, but some of our members may become apostles! Exciting thought!
What are we set free from if we are disciples? We are set from ignorance, from the desire to sin, from impure thoughts and deeds. We are no longer bound by Satan if we know the truth of God -- which is Jesus.
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Oscar Wilde penned a powerful story about behaviors and definitions and justice called The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian was a handsome young man, a model of physical beauty and moral virtue. People complimented him on his good graces. Parents pointed to him as an example to their youth. One artist even painted an exquisite portrait of him.
"Have you seen it?" whispered the Barbie doll to her next door neighbour.
The next Barbie doll in line was instantly alert. There were five different Barbie dolls, who lived jumbled together in the toy cupboard but who were so jealous of each other that they rarely spoke. "Seen what?" asked the second Barbie doll, blue eyes darting all round the room.
"The Princess," replied the first Barbie with glee. "Caitlin's done her hair and it looks terrible!"
These verses from Mark's gospel are a call to commitment, a call to sacrifice, and a call to give up everything of earthly value in life. To say these are difficult verses is truly an understatement. It is pretty clear that the disciples are not at all ready for what Jesus is saying. They are not ready for Jesus to die and they certainly are not ready to die themselves.