“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” Matthew 16:16, 21-22
Based on Matthew 16:16, only Peter knew who Jesus is among the disciples. He knew by divine revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. However when the LORD began to speak of the sufferings He will go through on the cross in verse 21, Peter hurriedly scolded the LORD in verse 22. The LORD Jesus spoke to the influence behind such a statement, satan. “…Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (v.23). You may also have some revelation of Jesus, but are there not certain beliefs you hold on to that unbeknownst to you are sponsored by the devil himself? What are the things that looks good in your belief system but are not of God?
Why is it that anything that has to do with dying is vigorously rejected? There is a certain job a person can take and it is like going to die because according to everyone there is no prospects there, no future at all. Yet, if that’s where the LORD said to go, are we now going to be binding the LORD? There is a way of living that is only possible by dying daily (1 Corinthians 15:21).
To be mistreated and not seek revenge. To be shouted upon and not shout back. To have you car hit and your grace didn’t jump out of the window. These are things that cannot be rehearsed. What ever is truly in your heart will come out when you come under pressure. You will misbehave first before you remember that you are a Christian. That is the kind of mixed life that Peter was living here. He could get a revelation from God. He knows how to pray and fast to get specific divine intervention but when the Master puts a finger on his life, he flatly refuses.
He doesn’t think following Jesus requires dying. “Why can’t I be ‘alive’ and follow Jesus like this?” “Why can’t I retain some ‘good’ aspects of the old life of sin and still follow Jesus?” “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (v. 25). Simply put, following requires dying. This dying is to accept that you died with Jesus when He died, and that when He rose up, you arose with Him in newness of life.
Therefore, old things (your life as it was before coming to Jesus) have passed away, and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Trying to preserve myself is counter-intuitive to the New Life in Christ Jesus. Any attempt to do so is a recall to the old life to return and take over from where it last stopped. And if there is no remedy done, “…the last state of that man is worse than the first.” (Matthew 12:45, please read verses 44-45).
Death is the necessary condition for the outward manifestation of this life. But that is what we don’t want to hear. We save ourselves from it as much as we can. How then do we want our generation to see the glory of Christ in us, which is a resurrection life coming out of the death of an unpleasant situation? Without death, we can’t express this life; we are like mere men. But when you lose your life then you will find it. The power to compel men to hear our message, and to be so affected, is in this resurrection life, which always puts us to death, so that the world can watch us break forth with eternal life.
Are you also rebuking the LORD today? It is time to repent for allowing your enemy the devil to express himself like that through you.
For every time I have denied Thee, for every prompt of Thine I have dismissed, for every one of Thy Word I doubted…I am sorry LORD. Help me not to be presumptuous like Peter was, but to be slow to speak, and quick to listen to Thee…To receive Thine help for every deed Thou impress, and to never have a separate opinion from Thee. AMEN.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.
Disclaimer: Using a quote or picture that mostly or fully represents what we have in mind does not imply agreement with or approval of a person’s general philosophy of life.
Picture Credit: truenorthquest.com