If you have faith in Jesus, there will be times when you are tempted to tell Him what you think He must do. That is what Peter was doing.
Telling Jesus what He must do might sound like faith, but it is the opposite of faith. Here is the great contradiction: on the one hand, to confess Jesus as the Christ means that you embrace Jesus as your teacher, saviour, and master but, on the other hand, when Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, he presumed to tell Jesus what He must and must not do.
Jesus is the teacher, but Peter presumed to teach Jesus a better way. Jesus is the saviour, but Peter wanted to save Jesus from going to the cross. Jesus is the master, but Peter felt that he was able to tell Jesus what He must do. Peter was blessed with wisdom and insight, but it had gone to his head. He thought he knew better than Jesus. He wanted to teach the teacher, save the saviour, and master the master.
“Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him” (Mk. 8:32). Have you ever done that? Have there been times when you have been so sure of the best outcome that you have presumed to say, “Jesus, this is what you must do!”?
There is a warning here against presumptuous prayers. Learn humility in what you ask of Jesus. This is how Jesus taught us to pray: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
Think about your own prayer life. On a scale of 1 (humble “your will be done”) to 10 (presumptuous “you must do this”) how are you talking to God right now?
Written by Colin Smith
Read by Sue McLeish www.openthebible.org.uk