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MATTHEW 16 (ESV)
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
- Now that the disciples have been with Jesus for a while, he must prepare them for the true nature of his kingdom. They are shocked at the cost of His mission and His requirements for discipleship.
- Peter had just been commended by Jesus (vv16-19), is now rebuked by Him. Peter didn’t like the idea of Christ facing death by crucifixion so he urged Jesus to avoid it! Jesus angrily pushed him away for he lacked the perspective of God.
- Every disciple must learn to look at his or her life from God’s perspective and “take up his cross and follow”. Most of the time, our cross doesn’t represent suffering or death, but it represents the plan and purpose of God for each of us. We need to find and do God’s will just like Jesus did.
- We may think that if we do the will of God, we will “lose our life”. However, the truth is that we will only “gain” our life and become what we most desire to be when we do the will of God each day.
- From Jesus’ “gain and lose” teaching (vv25-26), what do you think of your current priorities?
Prayer & Journaling:
On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.