Luke 9:26 “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
John the Baptist. Elijah. A prophet come back to life. A lot of false notions about Jesus filled the Judean landscape. Peter knew the truth about who Jesus was—the Messiah of God. But he and the other disciples had their own misperceptions about what exactly that meant.
The Jewish community expected the Messiah would overthrow the Romans and establish himself as the king over Israel. They had no concept of the kind of kingdom he was advancing. The thought of a Messiah who would be rejected by the religious leaders and crucified by the Romans did not compute…even with the disciples. That’s not what victory looked like! That is until Jesus came and turned everything upside down.
Jesus was not your typical Messiah. Neither was his message.
Jesus recognized talk of carrying crosses and laying down lives would be hard for his disciples to hear, even harder to comprehend. He knew his words ran counter to all their preconceived ideas. But if they pursued victory/success as defined by the world, it would cause them to lose their souls (Luke 9:25).
How do we respond when Jesus doesn’t act in the way we expect? When he doesn’t answer our prayers like we thought he would? When the world doesn’t stand up and applaud the righteous life he calls his followers to live? Are we tempted to be ashamed of him and his message? Jesus warns us of the severe consequences of misappropriated shame. If we are ashamed of him, he will be ashamed of us when he comes in his glory—and it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon.
We will never be ashamed of Jesus if we understand he’s not your typical Messiah. He’s not confined by our assessments and expectations any more than he was by the empty tomb. Oswald Chamber writes, “Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated.” But we ought not fear.
Our not-your-typical-Messiah, Jesus Christ, will never be defeated! Do you believe that? I hope so, because those who believe in him will never be ashamed (Romans 10:11).