Be Still Know
Matthew 16.21 NLT
‘From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.’
The events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection are so familiar to us that we need to stop for a moment and imagine how it was for the disciples at the time. They were thunderstruck by the news that their Lord, their Master and their friend was just about to die. Peter, as ever, was the first to respond. He used the strongest possible words to indicate his shock and his determination to stop these awful things from happening. He said, “Heaven forbid. This will never happen to you!” His words reveal his love for Jesus and his absolute commitment to support him, but he also completely missed the point because Jesus had to die. Jesus’ response couldn’t have been stronger. “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” These words are all the more remarkable because they were addressed to Peter, the one who Jesus has just described as the rock on which the church would be built.
Peter had to learn that following Jesus was never going to be easy. Jesus explained that the only way to follow him was by giving up life. Anyone who hung on to their life would lose it. As so often Jesus turned all human thinking on its head. Our world bases all its thinking on acquisition. Acquiring more and more wealth, prestige and fame but for Jesus it was completely the opposite. He showed what it meant to live life to the full through pouring out his life for others, and in our materialistic 21st Century world he invites us to do exactly the same.
Question: What does it mean for you personally to give up your life for Jesus?
Prayer: Loving God, we praise you for your Son’s willingness to give up everything for us. Teach us more day by day how we can walk in his footsteps. Amen
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