Week Twenty Five - Day Four
This is a very powerful part of Jesus’ story – and it includes a much debated interaction between Jesus and Peter. In fact, Catholics and Protestants divide, in part at least, over how this interaction should be interpreted. I am even more fascinated by the second significant exchange between Jesus and Peter. Read slowly and allow these exchanges to sink in. Allow God to use them to inform your day!
I’m going to pause in the middle to riff a little on the first interaction.
1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.
5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”
8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Wow! However you interpret “on this rock”, you have to admit that the implications of what Jesus says here for the church are profound. Whatever we loose here will be loosed in heaven. Incredible authority. So much power and authority invested in us, God’s people, that the gates of hell cannot overcome it!
Erwin McManus offers an awesome analogy for what is being suggested about the church here. He compares us to a group of rhinos. The rhino, McManus reminds us, runs about 30 miles per hour, but it can only see 30 feet in front of it. Sounds dangerous – like a potential disaster waiting to happen. But here’s the thing: the rhino is not worried about what is 31 feet in front of it. Whatever it is … it better get out of the way. So it is with God’s people. McManus exhorts us to move, to get out and act in the Jesus’ name. If we start moving … everything else better watch out!
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.”
BEFORE YOU START YOUR DAY
- 1.I’m a little dizzy. Jesus jumps from that first incredible exchange with Jesus immediately to talking about suffering. I suppose we have to imagine Matthew arranging these two stories together to communicate something to us about his friend and Lord. What is Matthew telling us? What do you make of Jesus?
- 2.Think about the implications of Jesus associating Peter with Satan in the way he does here. What do you make of this? How is Peter a stumbling block?
- 3.Dedicate your day to God.
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