As a student of Jesus, what are we to do with his “embrace suffering” comments in Mark 7? Is He some kind of sick? No, He is not. Throughout the history of Christianity there has been those who take these comments to extremes, and out of context. The Flagellants did this in the Middle Ages.

But Jesus was teaching that suffering is inevitable in this life. It is how you respond that matters. During suffering we find out what and Who we trust in. Character and Wisdom develop from that suffering, if we let that happen. He walks with us in our suffering and asks us to look to Him for strength during it.

Remember that He asked His Father to “let this cup of suffering pass” in the night before He was tortured. So no, He is not some sicko. Jesus modeled HOW to deal with suffering. He placed His faith in the hands of His Father.

There are many types of suffering: emotional, physical, and spiritual. If you face some sort of it this week, “embrace” it and ask Jesus to help you through it. Remember, “embrace” and “enjoy” are worlds apart in terms of suffering.

Jesus said it is your soul that is at stake here. Choose wisely if you are hammered with suffering this week, friends!