To find our way somewhere, we first need to know where we want to go. Any directions we get, otherwise, are pretty much useless.
In these next quiet moments, think first about where you want to go as a believer. The Spirit awaits to take you there.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
Ouch! One moment Peter is on top of the world, the lone disciple who answers Jesus’ question “Who am I?” and suddenly, Jesus is calling Peter “Satan” and telling him to step back! A little harsh? Try that with one of your teachers during class or with your boss today. Stand up, pull them aside, and say, “No, no, teacher, you’re doing it wrong!”
When I was in school, the teacher would’ve pulled out her ruler, told me to hold out my hand and given me a “WHACK!” Those are the kinds of rebukes that Peter and Jesus are giving each other, the same kind of “sit down and shut up” Jesus once gave to the wind and waves.
If you’ve seen Talladega Nights, you know how ridiculous it was to hear Ricky Bobby’s family arguing about Jesus: “I like the tiny Christmas Jesus!” “No, Jesus was a man! He had a beard!” When we think we have Jesus all figured out, we limit how or where we will follow Jesus and we start to sound like Peter or Ricky Bobby.
Jesus, Peter’s example reminds me that if one of your closest friends on earth had room to learn more about you, I’ve got a long way to go myself. Teach me to follow you more closely each day. Amen.
Go now with great confidence that the Spirit who has led you so far will continue to lead you into your future. Stay alert to any new direction the Spirit might take you, and then go willingly, with delight in new discovery!