Monday, October 20, 2008

Response of Peter

October 20: Matthew 16, Mark 8 & Luke 9

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.”

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.”
Matthew 16:15b-16 & 22-23

And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Mark 8:27b-29 & 31-33

20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
Luke 9:20

Response of Peter

As I read through today's Bible reading I noticed that all three Gospels included Peter's responses to the Lord. Somehow I have always felt a certain kinship to Peter because I, too, am prone to speaking without thinking ahead of what I am saying.

I found it interesting that when Christ asked who men said He was, only the words of Peter were recorded, and they were recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

This is one case of Peter giving the right answer when he blurted out, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

We are then told that Christ told his disciples of some things that must come to pass.

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Horrified at these words, Peter drew Christ aside and said, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”

Why did Christ rebuke Peter for these words?

Christ's disciples understood so much and yet so little! Quickly Peter acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, but he did not understand that it was necessary for Christ to die. That is why, after the crucifixion, the disciples were devastated--they just did not know how to think about what had transpired. Not until the resurrection, and the appearing of Christ again to his disciples did they finally get it!

Is not that just like us? As Christians, we, too, believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. But, also like Peter, we do not understand the twists and turns of life. We, too, ponder the age old questions, Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do babies have to die?

Sin has left and ugly wreck of a world in which we live; its effects are seen everywhere. But, for the Christian these things should not lead us to despair. Just as the disciples finally understood, so, too, must we understand that in the resurrection Christ conquered death for once and for all. Not only did He die for our sins, but in His resurrection He grants us the faith and hope that we, too, will live to be with Him forever on the Great Resurrection Day!

Do you, too, find the response of Peter to be all too familiar in your own life. Through Christ the victory has already been won, so pray that you will acknowledge the words of this song.

This is the day that the Lord has made.
I will rejoice and be glad in it.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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