What Jesus Did! 'Messiah's Cross' — Matthew 16:22-23

Saturday, August 7, 2021

[After Jesus told the disciples he would be killed,] Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. "Heaven forbid, Lord," he said. "This will never happen to you!"

Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's."

— Matthew 16:22-23 NLT

Key Thought

Ouch! In just a few moments, Peter goes from receiving a blessing from Jesus and the affirmation of his inspiration from God himself to being aligned with Satan and drawing the rebuke of the Messiah himself!

The issue at stake is the nature of God's salvation and the nature of Jesus the Messiah's redemption. The way of the cross will be the way of salvation. There are no shortcuts. Satan had offered those earlier — according to Satan, just a quick bow to him and the nations could have belonged to Jesus without the cross. But there is no Messiah without the way of the cross.

For us as disciples, it is easy to quote "God causes everything to work together for the good" but harder to emphasize "of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose for them," and much harder still to "be conformed to the image of his Son" who goes to the cross. In other words, ultimate good from God's perspective does not mean ease, success, riches, or glory in the short run. Our ultimate glory is a gift purchased at a costly price and given to us through the faithful passage of time and the lavish outpouring of God's grace.

Today's Prayer

Thank you Father, that the road home does not always follow the safe and boring path. I know deep in my soul that my character needs to be forged, molded, and matured so that I may be more like my Savior. Please, give me strength for my journey, escape when I am weak, and courage to face the challenges with joy and expectation. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Romans 8:28-30
  • Matthew 4:8-11
  • Matthew 16:16-17, 20


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Illustration of Matthew 16:22-23 NLT — "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.