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
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