The Lantern

Fruit-Bearing Involves Cross-Bearing

One Last Journey

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Mark 8:34

Three times in the Gospel of Mark, in consecutive chapters (Mark 8:31–38, Mark 9:31, and Mark 10:33–34), while Jesus was leading his astonished and fearful followers on an ascent to Jerusalem for the last journey of his life on earth, he pulled aside the disciples to explain with increasing detail that the Son of Man would suffer, be killed, and rise again in three days.

It would be an understatement to say that his message was not landing well with the disciples. Twice Jesus explained his suffering servant calling in the context of the disciples either arguing about who among them was the greatest (Mark 9:33–34), or just before James and John asked him to seat them at his “right hand and left hand in glory” (Mark 10:35–37). It is striking that their request came immediately following Christ’s most detailed summary of the horrific execution he was willingly walking into to atone for our sins. Their self-centered request made the other ten disciples “indignant at James and John” (Mark 10:41).

Good Hard News

The first account of Jesus breaking the hard news of his suffering to the disciples, was immediately followed by Peter’s attempt to rebuke Jesus, saying, “never Lord!” (Matthew 16:22) and the sternest of rebukes from Jesus to Peter, because “you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Mark 8:33). Jesus would go on to say to his disciples and other followers the words that would soon mightily inspire and motivate the Great Commission and the Great Commandment in the power of the Holy Spirit, resulting in the greatest movement the world has ever seen. (See Mark 8:34–38.)

Peter, James, and John would ultimately be true to the calling of our suffering redeemer, with the understanding and conviction that loving service in Christ will inevitably involve suffering as well. Hudson Taylor said: “No easy non-self-denying life will ever be a life of power. Fruit-bearing involves cross-bearing. There are some things God cannot teach us unless he allows us to suffer.” Once when speaking to a gathering of retired missionaries Hudson Taylor said, “If you have succeeded without suffering, it is because those who went before you suffered. If you have suffered without success, it is so those who come behind you will succeed.”

“Enormous Missional Implications”

A transformed Peter would subsequently write at the end of his life, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (I Peter 5:10).

While introducing the spring ChinaSource Quarterly, The Global Chinese Diaspora, guest editors Andrew Lee and Sam George write, “The dispersion of Chinese populations will continue to grow in the near future and the missional implications of this are enormous.” As you will read, many in the global church are welcoming their new neighbors, and others are preparing to serve those who will be coming their way.  Regardless of the challenge, pain, perhaps even suffering involved, we can pray and prepare so that the worldwide church will be ready to welcome and serve in the name of Immanuel.

Kerry Schottelkorb

News and Notes

ChinaSource Quarterly, 2024 Spring Issue

The Global Chinese Diaspora, guest editors Sam George, Andrew Lee, and Jeanne Wu

The Global Chinese Diaspora, ChinaSource Quarterly, cover of the issue, First Chinese Baptist Church of Los Angeles, image of Chinese Church in the 1950s.

In their editorial, Sam George and Andrew Lee write, “The dispersion of Chinese populations will continue to grow in the near future and the missional implications of this are enormous. The recent growth of Christianity in China and the country’s political upheavals are pushing a record number to migrate overseas. Many have found new freedom upon leaving their ancestral homelands and embraced the Christian faith in foreign lands and cultures. They have not only established vibrant Christian churches in all major cities of the world but have also emerged as a major mission force in their places of settlement and among other lands and peoples. The insightful articles from this spring issue of ChinaSource Quarterly detail how this is taking place in various contexts around the world.”

Don’t miss this fascinating and challenging issue of ChinaSource Quarterly. Read The Global Chinese Diaspora online or download the PDF version.

In-Person Event

“Human Flourishing in Chinese Thought: A Christian Response” by I’Ching Thomas

ChinaSource presents I'Ching Thomas lecturing on Human Flourishing in Confucian Thought.

We are delighted to announce that I’Ching Thomas will be the speaker for our spring 2024 joint lecture series. She will explore the notion of human flourishing in Chinese thought, focusing especially on Confucius’ teaching on self-cultivation and benevolence as keys to achieving the ideal of the Noble Man. Then, drawing on parallels with the Christian faith, she will propose that the gospel is relevant to the aspirations of cultural Chinese concerning human flourishing as defined by Confucian ideals.

Friday, April 5, 2024
6:15pm (US CDT)—Join us for light refreshments
and the opportunity to connect with I’Ching Thomas and ChinaSource staff
Nazareth Chapel, University of Northwestern-St. Paul, Roseville, MN

Get more details on the event page on the website.

This is a free event. We would be grateful if you would RSVP so we can plan for refreshments. If you are not able to come to the event, use the RSVP form to let us know you’d like to receive a notification when the video recording is available. Feel free to pass the link on to anyone who might be interested!

ChinaSource Team News

  • On Sunday, February 25, Brent Fulton, Andrea Lee, and Kerry Schottelkorb represented ChinaSource at Mission Sunday, hosted by First Chinese Baptist Church in Walnut, California. Brent, Andrea, and Kerry were privileged to speak and interact with many of the youth, and their leaders in the church.

Ways to Pray

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ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

Written, translated, or edited by members of the ChinaSource staff.          View Full Bio

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