Tuesday 14 November, 2017

Mark 8:31-33

31 Jesus then began to teach his disciples. He taught them that the Son of Man must suffer many things. He taught them that the elders would not accept him. The chief priests and the teachers of the law would not accept him either. He must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke clearly about this. Peter took Jesus to one side and began to scold him. 33 Jesus turned and looked at his disciples. He scolded Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You are not thinking about the things God cares about. Instead, you are thinking only about the things humans care about.”

Just a few verses before this passage, we read of the pivotal moment where Jesus asks Peter the well known question “Who do you say that I am?” and Peter responds with the correct and profound answer – “You are the Messiah (God’s chosen anointed one)”.

How is it then, that a couple of verses later we see Peter rebuking Jesus after He reveals to Peter the plan of His future suffering, death and resurrection? Telling God’s Chosen One that He is wrong! Really?!?

Clearly, God’s plans are not always so palatable to us poor mortals. We squirm and recoil and complain at the thought of suffering and trials, and sometimes even have the audacity to tell God He is wrong.

But Jesus’ response to Peter is firm – if you try to stand in the way of God’s plans, you are not on God’s side (ouch!). If you judge situations only from your own perspective, you will find it difficult to accept that God may have a different plan to what you had in mind.

As I read Jesus’ rebuke, “you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns”, I am asking myself where this statement might apply to my life?

I can’t help but have human concerns – I am after all, human! But I can ask God to help me see and understand things from His perspective, which gives me the ability to frame my human concerns with an eternal perspective.

Father God, may I stand with Your plans even when they are uncomfortable to me, and may You help me to set my mind on the things above and not on the things of this earth.

Written by Shelley Witt

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