8:31a Then Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed

It is unrelenting. Wherever you turn in the Gospels you come up against the same troubling reality. No matter who we are, even “the Son of Man”, we “must undergo great suffering.” Like Jesus, we will all experience “rejection.” And of course no one gets to escape the dark wings of death that brush against our lives, even before we ourselves die physically.

What compels Jesus to push upon his disciples the awareness of the painful future that lies ahead?

The answer to this troubling question is simply, because it is true.

No one makes it through the journey of physical life without encountering some degree of

Christ with his Saints Little Falls, NY

suffering. Existence in this constricted realm of manifestation is painful. The pain may come in the form of internal turmoil or external chaos. I may live with physical suffering, relational anguish, or the experience of crushing injustice. There is a place in the darkness for everyone.

Jesus wants us to live in the truth. He said of himself, “I am…the truth”. He then went on to say that “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). So the way to God is through “truth”. To live in the truth is to be willing first of all to see the truth about myself (Matthew 7:3) and then to be willing to live a truthful life, an authentic and sincere life. To live in the truth means acknowledging the dark realities from which Jesus never flinched.

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What truth might I be reluctant to see? What environment helps me to live sincerely and honestly? How can I nurture such an environment for myself and others?