Jul 7, 2015

Never Lord!

Never, Lord! Not you, this won't happen to you.

This is the response Peter gave Jesus in Matthew 16 when Jesus told His disciples what He would suffer, and how He'd be killed and rise again in three days.

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. (v21)
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” (vs 22)

Jesus response?

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:23)

Wait a minute. Isn't this the same Peter who had just confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus said, "Yes, you are right."

But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?" (v15)
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (v16)
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. (v17)

Peter knew who Jesus was. Yet he thought he knew better than Jesus.

As I was reading this passage today, I thought, "wow, Peter is so full of himself to think he knows more than Jesus. Didn't he just declare Jesus to be the Messiah?"

Then I realized I am just like Peter, and I had to laugh.

God: "Go this way."
Me: "Are you sure? I don't think that will work. Can't you see that the other way is shorter / faster / better?"

God: "Do this now."
Me: "No, this is not a good time. I think I should wait."

God: "Wait."
Me: "No, I think this is the best time."

I, too, forget that I'm addressing the living God, the Creator of the universe, the all-knowing God who always knows best. I share my thoughts and ideas with Him as though I can enlighten Him and tell Him something He doesn't already know.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
(Isaiah 55:8-9)

Lord, forgive my arrogance!

Thank you, Jesus, for all the times you set me back on the right path when I've gone my own way. Thank you for the awesome example of Peter - one who messed up a whole lot but was fully restored by You.

And help me to remember all of this next time I am tempted to think I know better than You do.

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