Thoughts: In the immediately preceding verses, Jesus has praised Peter warmly. He blessed him, pronounced him to be the rock on which he would build his church, and promised to give him the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Then Jesus told his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem where he would suffer; he would be killed; he would rise on the third day. Always impetuously eager to talk, Peter may have felt especially emboldened by Jesus’ recent praise. He pulled Jesus aside, and we can almost hear him whispering urgently, “You mustn’t say that! That can’t happen! You don’t want the others to hear this!”
Jesus’ rebuke to Peter was harsh. “Get behind me, Satan. You are a stumbling block (or, worse, an offense) to me.”
Perhaps Jesus didn’t dare take comfort from Peter’s protests. Was he tempted to agree? “You’re probably right, Peter. God would never let this happen. Forget I said anything.”
In verse 28, Jesus told his listeners, “Some of you standing here will not taste of death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” We know this was not literally true, unless – did Jesus mean the time he was on earth after his resurrection? Or did he mean that all of us can see Jesus manifest in the pure goodness of people? Their service? Their selflessness? Glimpses of the kingdom of heaven?
“There are flashes struck from midnights,
There are fire-flames noon days kindle…
When the spirit’s true endowments
Stand out plainly from its false ones….”
Discussion: When do your spirit’s rue endowments stand out plainly from its false ones?
Activity: When you hear of a friend’s or a neighbor’s emergency or tragedy, do you offer to help in any practical way? Can you fix a meal, meet someone at the airport, help with child care?
Devotional from Word at Home August 2011
People in our home town seemed determined not to pronounce our last name correctly. Perhaps its nine letters looked threatening. I remember hearing my father explain patiently, over and over –
“It’s phonetic – you pronounce it exactly the way it’s spelled. Chen – o – weth.”
“Oh,” the listener would not. “Chinnyworth.”
My father would permit himself a brief frown. “Think of it this way. ‘Chen’ rhymes with ‘when’ – then ‘o’ – then ‘weth’ rhymes with ‘Seth’.”
“Okay, I got it. Chinnyworth.”
So I grew up, known as Wilson Chinnyworth’s little girl Susan. In college I was known as Susie. And now, for many years, I have been a sedate and matronly Sue or Mrs. Olesen. This six-letter last name has continued to baffle my relatives, after nearly 60 years. They continue to experiment with Olsen, Oleson, or Olson. Apparently, two e’s are too much to expect.
Do you suppose the people in Nazareth had trouble pronouncing Jesus? Did he have a nickname? Did his brothers and sisters call him the Aramaic equivalent of Bro? Did Mary have a pet name for her precious first born?
Discussion: What do you like best to be called?
Activity:Learn the name of someone in our church whom you have not yet met. This person will be pleased, and our church family will seem warmer and more welcoming.
Devotional from Word at Home August 2017
Thoughts: William Wordsworth’s poetry tended to be lengthy and sometimes verbose. Detractors gave him an unkind nickname. They called him Wordswords.
Most people could not quote a line of Wordsworth’s poetry. Most people could quote a line – or many – of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. She used words sparingly and exquisitely.
“I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.”
Discussion: What careless remark that you heard years ago do you still remember?
Activity: Remember that some words you say today could warm someone’s heart.
Devotional from Word at Home August 2017
Thoughts:Jesus told his disciples to take a ship to the other side of the lake. He wanted – he needed to be alone. So he went up into a mountain to pray and rest. He was understandably tired of begging, clamoring, clutching people.
But his time alone did not last long. The disciples’ ship had sailed only to the middle of the lake before a storm came. The frightened disciples were even more terrified when they saw what they thought was a spirit walking toward them on the water.
Knowing is disciples’ danger and fear, Jesus came to them, reassuring them, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”
Discussion: Why did Peter sink when he tried to walk on water?
Activity: Think of someone who needs to know that he/she is not alone. We can’t walk on water, but we can call, write a note, pay a visit.
Devotional from Word at Home Augst 2017
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