Read Mark 8:27–33
While on their way to Caesare′a Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say He was?” They replied that people saw Him as one of the great Old Testament prophets, like John the Baptist or Eli’jah. It was a common practice in those days to raise one’s esteem by associating with a great prophet or teacher. This was like the modern-day equivalent of associating with a celebrity. Hence, being associated with Jesus, who was viewed as having similar stature as John the Baptist and Eli’jah, also raised the disciples’ esteem. However, Peter had a different insight. He said that Jesus was the Christ, that is, “The Anointed One.” Jesus knew Peter spoke correctly but did not want anyone beyond His disciples to know that. Jesus did not want people to idol worship Him. Rather, He wanted to draw people to a loving God and to respond to His love.
Some people seem to climb the corporate ladder without much effort. They have the right connections, the right qualifications, meet the right people at the right time. However, if they become prideful, they could fall quickly. During Jesus’ time, many Jews thought that He was St. John the Baptist or Elijah. These two prophets had the reputation of being in God’s humble service. Jesus had similar traits and chose people like Him — they were not concerned with status in life. Throughout their ministry, they worked and sacrificed for the good of others. They were known to love one another and the kingdom of God grew. Good leaders should take on the character values of Jesus and His disciples. However, do not expect that everyone subscribes to this value system. There will be people jealous enough to smear their good name. In such circumstances, stand firm on the right values and principles. Warren Buffett, an American investor & philanthropist, said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — XW
As society progresses, children are more accustomed to the good life. Comfort becomes the norm. Parents, out of their great love for their children, are less tolerant of physical discomfort or tough training. Parents are less inclined to put their children through hardship. Very often, schools or organizations that try to teach the value of resilience by introducing strict discipline or outdoor training meet with opposition from parents. Some of the parents are quick to complain against such strict discipline and may even pull their children out of this training. Peter, out of love for His master, also tried to get Him away from the suffering He had to go through in fulfilling His mission. Jesus rebuked Peter that bailing out from a given mission was not acceptable. Likewise, parents have to let their children go through toughness so that their character is tested and built upon. Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman statesman & philosopher said, “Every man’s reputation proceeds from those of his own household.” — XW
Next: Put Others Before Self