Thursday, February 10, 2022
You’re Not in the Driver’s Seat
21-22 Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!”
23 But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.”
24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
27-28 “Don’t be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You’ll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory.”
-Matthew 16:21-28 The Message
Jesus Foretells His Death
Verse 21 From that time Jesus began to point out to His disciples that it was necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem and to suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised up on the third day.
Verse 21 study: There is a turning point in the phrase “from that time” that happens. In Matthew 4:17, it signaled Jesus’ announcement of the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 4:17: From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
There are new points to his emphasis on his death and resurrection. The disciple didn’t understand Jesus’ true purpose because of their preconceived notions about what the Messiah should be.
Verse 22 And yet Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You!”
Verse 22 study: Peter, Jesus’ friend, and devoted follower who proclaimed Jesus’ true identity, sought to protect him from suffering he prophesied. Everybody including Peter would have died had Jesus not suffered and died. Temptations can come from those who love us and protect us. Use caution when a friend tells you, “Surely God doesn’t want you to face this.” Most of the difficult temptations come from those who are trying to protect us from discomfort.
Verse 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s purposes, but men’s.”
Verse 23 study: While Jesus was in the wilderness, he heard the message that he could achieve greatness without dying.
Matthew 4:6: and he *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written: ‘He will give His angels orders concerning You’; and ‘On their hands, they will lift You up,
So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
He heard the same message from Peter. Peter had recognized Jesus as the Messiah. But he forsook God’s point of view and evaluated the situation from a human one. Satan will do everything to leave God out of the picture. Jesus rebuked Peter for this attitude.
Discipleship Is Costly
Verse 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.
Verse 24 study: The disciples knew what Jesus meant when Jesus used this picture of his followers taking up their crosses to follow him. Crucifixion was a common Roman method of execution and condemned criminals did carrying their cross to the execution site. Following Jesus meant a true commitment, the risk of death, and no turning back.
Matthew 10:39: The one who has found his life will lose it, and the one who has lost his life on My account will find it.
Verse 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Verse 25 study: The disciples knew that losing their lives was very real and Jesus too. Real discipleship implies a real commitment; pledging our whole existence to his service. If we try to save our physical life from death, pain, or discomfort, we risk losing our eternal life. If we protect ourselves from pain, we begin to die spiritually and emotionally. We lose our intended purpose when we live our lives inward. When we give our lives in service to Christ, we discover the real purpose of living.
Verse 26 For what good will it do a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul?
Verse 26 study: Not knowing Christ leads to decision-making in this life where all we have. In reality, this life is just the introduction to eternity. How we live in this life span is determined by our eternal state. What we gather on earth has no value in purchasing eternal life. Our highest social or civic honors can’t earn us entrance into heaven. Take time to evaluate all that happens from an eternal perspective, and you will find out your values and decisions changing.
Verse 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every person according to his deeds.
Verse 27 study: Jesus Christ has been given the authority to judge all the earth.
Romans 14:9-11: 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
10 But as for you, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or you as well, why do you regard your brother or sister with contempt? For we will all appear before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord, to Me every knee will bow,
And every tongue will give praise to God.”
Philippians 2:9-11:9 For this reason also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Even though his judgment is already working in our lives, there is a future, final judgment when Christ returns.
Matthew 25:31-46: The Judgment
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you accursed people, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or as a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for Me, either.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
And everyone’s life is reviewed and evaluated. This will not be confined to unbelievers; Christians will face judgment. Their eternal destiny is secured, but Jesus will look at how they handled gifts, opportunities, and responsibilities in order to determine their heavenly rewards. At the time of judgment, God will deliver the righteous and condemn the wicked. We should not judge others’ salvation; that is for god to work on.
Verse 28 “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Verse 28 study: The disciples died before Christ’s return, many believe that Jesus’ words were fulfilled at transfiguration when Peter, James, and John saw his glory.
Matthew 17:1-3 The Transfiguration
17 Six days later, Jesus *took with Him Peter and James, and his brother John, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
Others say this statement is to the Pentecost (Acts 2) and the beginning of Christ’s church. In either case, certain disciples were eyewitnesses to the power and glory of Christ’s kingdom.
Verses 21-28 studies: This passage of scripture relates to Daniel’s prophecies. The Messiah would be cut off;
Daniel 9:26: Then after the sixty-two weeks, the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
There is a period of trouble;
Daniel 9:27: And he will confirm a covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come the one who makes desolate, until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, gush forth on the one who makes desolate.”
And the king would come to glory;
Matthew 7:13-14: The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
The disciples would endure the same sufferings as their King and like him would be rewarded in the end.