HERE’S THE PLAN
Hold your hands open, palms up. Ask God to help you let go of the need to plan or control him.
Read Matthew 16:21–28
Jesus Predicts His Death
21 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.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 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.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you tried to find an “alternate” plan to God’s plan?
Hot on the heels of his incredible light-bulb moment, Peter lurches into such a profound and harmful misunderstanding that it causes Jesus to refer to him as “Satan” (23)! Having grasped the truth that Jesus is the Messiah and that he, Peter, has a very important role to play in this new kingdom, he has apparently decided on the next steps, and they are certainly not the steps Jesus is planning. “Never, Lord,” he says grandly. “No suffering for you on my watch.”
Before we leap to judgment, let’s stop and consider the extraordinary proposal Peter was being asked to grasp. The Messiah, the anointed king, was in their midst. He was going to bring justice and freedom, and his kingdom would know no bounds. And how would this be accomplished? Through his suffering and death—which his followers must be willing to share. Wouldn’t you be tempted to suggest an alternative plan? I know I would. We are human and have human concerns (23). But we are asked to trust One who knows the end from the beginning, our Creator and our Savior.
What is God asking you to trust him in? Why is it hard to trust him? What can you do today to show Christ that you are willing to follow him—even in this?
Jesus, I am Yours—do with me as You will.
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