Sunday, August 30
God forbid, Lord! (Matthew 16:22)
What a stunning reversal! You don’t confess someone as “the Son of the living God” and then turn around and scold them (Matthew 16:16)! What could have triggered such a strong reaction from Peter? The news that Jesus was going to “suffer greatly … and be killed” by Jerusalem’s religious leaders (16:21).
Of course, Peter had the purest of intentions when he rebuked Jesus; he couldn’t bear the thought of his beloved Master and friend suffering such a horrible fate.
But there may also have been a deeper motive in Peter’s actions. Perhaps he was eager to preserve Jesus’ image as an untouchable miracle worker so that he could be safe too. If he could keep Jesus from the cross, he wouldn’t have to face his own cross.
Peter had been with Jesus long enough to see that being a disciple meant risking people’s scorn and misunderstanding. It meant pouring out his life to God for the sake of the people around him. If Jesus was destined for the cross, then Peter might have to accept a similar fate. Better to shield Jesus from harm so that he could shield himself as well
But Jesus would have none of it. So He told Peter that anyone who wanted to become like Him had to take up his cross and follow in his footsteps (Matthew 16:24).
It’s tempting to keep Jesus at arm’s length so that he can’t get too close and ask too much of us. Jesus made it very clear: there is a cost to discipleship. It’s not always easy to follow the Lord and obey His commandments. But the glory of knowing Jesus’ love and the joy of sharing His mercy with people far outweigh any sacrifice we might have to make. Peter ultimately learned this, and so can we. ppp
So take up your cross today: Try your best to follow in Jesus’ path of Self-giving love.
“Lord, I don’t want to keep You at a distance. Teach me how to give of myself as You did.”
Daily Reflections from “The Word Among Us”
Recorded music remains the property of the Artists/Writers.
No ownership is implied
Nobody – Casting Crowns
He Knows My Name – Tommy Walker
Alpha and Omega – Gaither Vocal Band
No Greater Love – Matt Maher