May 20, 2016
My 2016 Ongoing Journey: Exploring Matthew to discover what following Jesus and becoming more like him would look like.
Matthew 16:13-23 ~ Peter’s “Good Confession. “In most Christian traditions it is incorporated in some way into the experience through which individuals affiliate with the church by acknowledging faith in Jesus and being baptized (or having their baptism confirmed).
Peter announces Jesus as Messiah, and Jesus confirms his declaration as divinely inspired. [Paul would later declare, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:3).] But then Jesus utters that mysterious instruction that is repeated several times through the Gospels: “Shhhhh! Don’t tell anybody!” It’s called the “Messianic Secret,” and many books and treatises have been written about it. I’m going to acknowledge it and leave it for now.
Perhaps because of its importance to the whole Christian experience, the “Good Confession” passage may overshadow the passage immediately following. Jesus begins to explain what it means for him to be “Messiah”—here he utters the first of three predictions of his Passion. But Peter, the one who has just declared him Messiah, takes him aside and scolds him: “Jesus! Don’t talk like that! Messiah doesn’t talk like that!”
Jesus’ response is the same as his response to the tempter in the wilderness: “Get behind me, Satan!” And then come the words that must have stung Peter severely: “You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Ouch!
I have acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God and my Savior; but, am I a stumbling block to him? Am I trying to force Jesus into my mold—to direct where he leads me; confirm the “spiritual” choices I’ve already made and to which I’m already committed?
That's the way it looks through the flawed glass that is my world view.
Together in the Walk,