We have made reference to these verses in Chapter 11 and in Chapter 24. It would be helpful if you would review these chapters that help to put this week's text in its broader Lukan context. In our comments on the Parable of the Sower we have also noted that among the fundamental temptations that keep us from hearing the word of God (the seed that is sown) are the cares and riches and pleasures of life. See Luke 8:4-15, v. 14. In Chapter 31 we dealt with the material in Luke 14:25-33 in which Jesus called his dis-ciples to leave family, lose self, and let loose of all possessions (v.
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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.