June 4. Matthew 16:13-28

GRACE LESSONS: Poor Peter. In the same passage of scripture he goes from being praised by Jesus for his declaration that Jesus is the Messiah to being censured by Jesus for Peter’s own scolding of the Lord when He predicted His own death on a cross. Peter didn’t stay in a place of exaltation very long! Peter was so confident that he understood not only who Jesus was but what His mission was, that when Jesus started talking about His suffering, Peter took it upon himself to rebuke … the Son of God! It was another humbling of our guy. Yet there was God’s good grace in it, too, as Jesus taught Peter but certainly did not cast him out. Peter had much to learn, as do we.

I try to be very careful not to assume, for example, that I know exactly how the end times will play out. Jesus knows. He’s told us some of it. We can trust Him to show us as we need to know it. I don’t want to make up my own answers! Oh Lord, help us to look to You for answers and not create answers when we don’t know. Help us to live with the mystery of hard to understand things, trusting ourselves to Your care, learning in humility and not arrogance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

OUR PASSAGE: Today we look at a conversation Jesus has with His disciples that encompasses His Messiah-ship and His death and resurrection. We are challenged to not cling to our lives but lose them for His sake. It’s a challenging passage and one that reveals much about the Lord Jesus and our friend, Peter.

My verse: Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Me.”

My response: Peter, when he rebuked Christ, was doing the opposite of this command from Jesus. He had to yield and stop steering things his way. Jesus wants followers. Am I willing to lay aside my own ideas and agendas and simply follow Him? Oh make me willing, Lord!

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