Monday 14 March 2022

Matthew 16:21-28

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. 28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Earlier in this chapter Jesus tells Peter that he will be the rock on which the church will be built – that Jesus has big plans for him. Now in this passage, Peter is trying to get Jesus to stop speaking about what needs to occur next because he cannot believe that is what will happen to the Messiah – for Him to be killed.

Often we get confused about Jesus and why He answers our prayers the way He does or why the world is full of bad situations where good people get hurt. Just like Peter, we think we know how God should organise things, how Jesus should save us from what we don’t like etc. But God knows way more about what is going on than we do and He has better ideas and plans. We may not like those ideas or those plans but He promises that we can trust they will work for good in all of us.

In the second half of this passage, Jesus asks us to trust Him, to believe that He knows best, that He loves us beyond our imagining, that He wants us to join Him in bringing His ideas to life even when they don’t make sense to us and, as a result, we will become who we were created to be.

Lord, thank you for the examples in the bible of people getting confused, misunderstanding your intentions or just plain missing the signs about what will happen. Thank you because that is what we do too. Help us to be reminded that you are God and that we are not, that you have ideas and plans that we may never be able to understand and that we can trust you 100%. Thank you for your love and that your desire is for each of our souls to be saved. Amen.

Written by Therese Manning

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