Thursday, August 28, 2008

Toward Sunday

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things." Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

"For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

The parallels to our text are Mark 8:31-9:1 and Luke 9:22-27.

From the Depths of the Internet, an email that makes its way around:
A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door. SON: "Daddy, may I ask you a question?" DAD: "Yeah sure, what it is?" replied the man. SON: "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?" DAD: "That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?" the man said angrily. SON: "I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?" DAD: "If you must know, I make $50 an hour." SON: "Oh," the little boy replied, with his head down. SON: "Daddy, may I please borrow $25?" The father was furious, "If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard everyday for such childish frivolities." The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door. "Are you asleep, son?" He asked. "No daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy. "I'v e been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier" said the man. "It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $25 you asked for." The little boy sat straight up, smiling. "Oh, thank you daddy!" He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. "Why do you want more money if you already have some?" the father grumbled. Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied. "Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you." The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time with someone you love. If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. "The human spirit is never finished when it is is finished when it surrenders." "When you know what you want, and you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it." See it > Be it > Do it !!!!

Matthew 16:21-28
1) Jesus is teaching his disciples about what is going to happen.
  • His message to his disciples is changing -- he's not talking about how to live or how to approach the kingdom, but how he is going to suffer and die.
  • He had begun to "set his face toward Jerusalem" as it says in Luke -- he knew what was bound to happen.
  • Jerusalem is the place where prophets are taken traditionally to be put to death by the religious authorities (Matthew 23:37 and 2 Chronicles 24:20-22)
  • He wanted (out of compassion) to prepare his disciples for this great suffering. Does knowing about the suffering lessen it? Can we really prepare for this?
2) Peter can't stand it and rebukes Jesus
  • Peter knows that Jesus is the Messiah -- and Jesus gave to Peter the keys to the Kingdom.
  • But he just can't deal with the fact that Jesus is going to die.
  • He cries out "Never! Never!" -- God forbid it!
  • Peter only want the grace and the glory of Christ's coming; he cannot bear the thought of the cross
3) Jesus lashes back at Peter saying, "Get behind me Satan."
  • To Jesus, this must seem like a continuation of Satan's temptation in the desert -- just as he tempted Jesus to use his power and authority wrongly in the desert, Peter's concern is just as much of a stumbling block.
4) Jesus talks about priorities -- how we must take up our cross and follow -- how it profits us little to gain the world but lose our soul.
  • We are to love God with all our heart, soul and strength -- how? and what does that look like?
  • Heart -- deny self.
  • Soul -- give your life.
  • Might/Strength -- give up the world's possessions and take up real treasure
5) For Jesus will come back again -- and will repay for what you have done.
6) and some will not taste death....

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