Thursday, August 25, 2011

Get in In Line Behind Jesus Matthew 16:21-28

You belong: in line behind Jesus
Jesus had a destiny 2000 years ago: the cross, suffering, and death and only after all that resurrection to new life. This side of His resurrection we understand in faith all this had to happen and did as part of God's saving plan.
Jesus' friend Peter didn't see it the same way before the cross and resurrection. Peter believed, even before the resurrection that Jesus was cristo" ouio" tou` qeou` tou` zwnto" the Christ/Messiah the son of God the living Matthew 16:16. Jesus said Peter was blessed to have such faith that came from the Father. And just a few breaths later Jesus challenge Peter's faith. Jesus was talking about His cross and that meant suffering and death. Peter wanted Jesus to stop speaking another word of it (Matthew 16:22). Jesus wanted Peter to get in line. He called Peter out with an unexpected intensity saying he was a stumbling block with his mind set on human things rather than God's plans Matthew 16:23.
Jesus strong reaction stuns us 2000 years later. Jesus' words (Matthew 16:24-26) about the cross that was coming for him and the crosses coming for us shake any pleasant understandings of God and His loving plans for us today. Jesus called Peter and now us to get behind him. We aren't going to tell God how or who to save. Instead we are to get behind God and find a new order in our lives in which God is first and our neighbors rank just as high up as ourselves. Get in line as you live in to the kingdom of God.
Pax, John

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