In Matt. 16:16 Peter responds to the question we all have to answer. Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter responded, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” After this amazing revelation, Jesus promises that he will build his church through those who embrace him as the Messiah and Son of God.
Something hit me though as I read it. If you were one of the apostles and came to understand this crucial truth would you let it go? I would have been asking Jesus what it was like to be God the Son, and what was heaven like, etc.!
The conversation seemed to have taken a different turn when you read the following verses,
“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. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.’”
Jesus didn’t take the disciples aside and tell them how glorious eternity is, instead, the cost of their salvation was on his mind. He predicted his suffering, death and resurrection. Jesus wanted them to understand what was required for our salvation since they would be his men to take the Good News to the world. Peter, though, couldn’t bear the thought of a Messiah/God that endured such suffering and tries to correct Jesus! Jesus rebukes such thoughts and continues his teaching on the cost of following him.
This whole story is fantastic, but it also has a serious feel to it. Jesus understood the task at hand. He was focused on the Father’s will and being the provision for our salvation. To engage and interact with Jesus was such a privilege and yet we can still learn from him because of his provision of the Bible.
Father, thank you for sending your Son to be our Messiah! Thank you for recording this interaction between Jesus and the disciples as they come to grips with the identity of Jesus and see the single focus Jesus had as he was about the task of accomplishing your will for our salvation. May I not take his life and sacrifice for me for granted.
Following Jesus with you,