There are four things that Jesus must do: suffer, be rejected, be killed, and rise again. When Jesus told this to the disciples, Peter “took him aside and began to rebuke him” (8:32).
Jesus “said this plainly” (8:32). Peter’s problem was not that he did not understand; it was that he did understand—and he was adamantly opposed to what Jesus had said. Peter had a good heart. He loved Jesus, and he wanted the best for Him. Peter wanted what’s best for the world, and he felt sure that he knew what that was.
In Peter’s day, as in ours, there were sick people who needed to be healed, hungry people who needed to be fed, and oppressed people who needed to be set free. The needs of the world press in every day, and Peter knew that Jesus had the power to meet these needs. He had seen Jesus feed the hungry, heal the sick, and set oppressed people free.
Like any good leader, Peter was already framing the next phase of the vision in his mind. Jesus did all these things in a small rural area of Galilee. “Now,” Peter probably thought, “we take this thing on the road! We go to Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria, and then to the ends of the earth. This is what we must do.”
But Jesus said something different. The One who healed the sick, fed the hungry, and freed the oppressed, must give Himself to a higher calling. He has come to do a greater work; and, to do it He must suffer, He must be rejected, He must be killed, and after three days, He must rise.
Why do you think it was so hard for Peter to accept Jesus’ true mission? Can you relate?
Written by Colin Smith
Read by Sue McLeish www.openthebible.org.uk