MONDAY, APRIL 22
Scripture: Matthew 16:21-23
Matthew 16:21-23 states, “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’ But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’” Jesus made it clear that He had to suffer many things and die at the hands of the chief Priests, scribes and leaders of that day. But that did not fit Peter’s plan. Peter was sure that the conquering King Jesus would assign at least a city to him and maybe more. The eschatology of the Jewish people of that day was 100% Kingly and focused 100% on the Kingly side of Christ. They were looking for the leader who was going to rule in the affairs of men. His enemies were to be made His footstool. That was their expectation. They did not have any problem with the Kingly Christ. That is who they were looking for. The only people that have a problem with the Kingly Christ are today’s church. The Jewish people were and are longing for somebody to exhibit the Kingly Christ, so much so they would catapult into the Kingdom if we would just graduate to that level. What did Jesus have to say to Peter? In verse 23, Jesus said, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Peter’s goal was not the Kingdom, his goal at that point was elevating himself. When we finish the school of the Spirit, brokenness and humility embraces God’s goal over self. Taking up the cross simply means, whenever there is a conflict between God’s purpose and self, self bows. God’s purpose, yes, self, behind me. Peter was in the school to learn that. But did this failure disqualify Peter? No way! All it did was highlight the issue of the school. Our failures do not disqualify us. They highlight what we are in spiritual school to learn. Peter made it, I will make it, you will make it. Finishing the school guarantees finishing our race!