In his sermon for 23 September 2018, Rev. Geoff McKee discusses Mark 9:30-37 by reference to C.S. Lewis’ allegorical children’s story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, highlighting how Jesus was not the Messiah the disciples expected, how this made them feel “not safe” with Jesus and how, as Christians, we must resist our instinctive reactions – why we must not let fear drive us to self-protection.
Mark 9:30-37 (New International Version)
Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
C.S. Lewis’ celebrated children’s book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, tells of the adventures of four children in the magical kingdom of Narnia.
The story is fun, but it’s also an allegory of Christ and salvation, with Christ represented by the lion Aslan.
When in Narnia, the children meet Mr and Mrs Beaver, who describe the mighty lion to them.
“Is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is King of the wood and the son of the great emperor-beyond-the-sea. Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great lion.”
“Oh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake” said Mrs Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
The disciples were discovering that Jesus was far from safe.
In fact, they were beginning to become a bit afraid of him. [Read more…]