Peter spoke to Jesus alone. Peter began to criticize Jesus. Peter said, "God save you from those things, Lord! Those things will never happen to you!" Then Jesus said to Peter, "Go away from me, Satan! You are not helping me! You don't care about the things of God. You only care about things that people think are important."
— Matthew 16:22-23 NLT
Ouch! In just a few moments, Peter goes from 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 "all things work together for good" but harder to emphasize "to them that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose," 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 necessarily mean ease, success, riches, or glory in the short run. These are gifts purchased at a costly price and given to us even more greatly through the faithful passage of time and the lavish outpouring of God's grace.
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 challenge 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
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.
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.