August 17 - Oh, Peter ...

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17 - Matthew 16:13-29 - Oh, Peter ...

I love Peter. I always have. He has such deep passion for the Lord and sometimes he is just plain stupid. But, how like our relationship with God is his with Jesus.

The beginning of this passage is such an amazing look at their relationship. One day, the disciples were walking with Jesus and He decided to challenge them a little bit. "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" (Matt 16:13)

There were many different answer, but Jesus went on to ask "But what about you? Who do you say I am?" (Matt 16:15)

Peter had the answer. "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

In those few words, Peter identified Jesus as the Messiah (Christ), the Savior that had come to save the world. He also identified Him as coming directly from the God of creation, the living God.

Peter knew who this man was that walked beside him. He had seen Jesus do miracles, feed thousands of people, heal the blind and the lame. He had listened as Jesus taught with an authority that no man on earth had ever exhibited. He knew who his Lord was!

That amazing insight and the strength of his faith was obvious to all that were around him and Jesus affirmed that God had revealed this mystery to Peter and went on to assure Peter that all of the power of heaven and earth would be given to him. He transformed Peter from 'Simon' a reed that flowed in the wind, to Peter (Petra) the rock on which the future church would be built.

The strength of Peter's faith would be required to fulfill the work that Jesus began on earth.

This was an amazing spiritual moment for Peter. And oh, the humanity. Several days later, as Jesus was trying to explain to His disciples the near future of suffering and death that He would be facing, Peter took Him aside to stop Him from saying those things. How could the Lord, the Messiah, face such a hideous thing? (Matthew 16:21-22)

The man that Jesus had lifted up was now called 'Satan.'

Was Peter too big for his britches? Maybe. The next thing that Jesus taught to His disciples was the importance of giving up everything, including any selfish ambitions. (Matthew 16:24-29)

Sometimes I have those amazing moments with God. I feel like together we could conquer the world. I sense the power of His hand in my life and I am ready to move forward to do whatever it is that He asks me to do. But, it doesn't take long for my selfish ambitions to set in. I hear and heed the call, but I make my own plans because I know that my creative mind can make these things happen. All of a sudden, I move from allowing God to run the show, to making Him a mere idea man. I can implement His ideas.

"Get thee behind me, Satan?" I wonder how many times the Lord has had to say those words to me as I run off to do His will my way.