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Mark 8:33

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In a moment where Peter hears the direction Jesus is leading them in, what the Son of Man came to do, he immediately shares his opinion with Jesus. Following Jesus to the cross was not what Peter signed up for! In response to Peter rebuking him, Jesus pronounces one of the harshest reprimands in the Bible! However, Jesus uses this strong language not to actually accuse Peter of being the very embodiment of the Prince of darkness… but to underscore how counter to the kingdom and ways of God Peter’s actions and thinking were in this moment. He uses it to shock Peter and the disciples, underscoring that Peter’s attempt to silence the mission of God, and mould it to his own purpose – to control the mission of Jesus for his own selfish need – is actually in violent opposition to the kingdom of God. This wasn’t just a correction of Peter’s attitude but a warning that his selfish way of thinking was destructive to his decision to follow Jesus. If Peter had gotten his way, we wouldn’t have had salvation!

Apply //

If anything, I strongly relate to Peter. He speaks before he thinks, and feels the need to lead everyone (even Jesus)! But in this moment I see a raw reality that we all face. Sometimes when choosing to follow Jesus we can see that our priorities and God’s priorities are very different things. However, we are not called to lead Jesus but follow Jesus. We are called not to push our priorities on him, but rather trust his leadership and guidance no matter the cost! Am I concerned about God falling into line with my priorities or my priorities falling into line with God? God has an eternal perspective and mine is only temporary, which means that my understanding and perspectives can often be counter to that of His kingdom. Just as Peter’s opinion was opposed to the plan of salvation, I cannot see what God can, so must trust His better way no matter the cost.

Pray //

Jesus, It isn’t always easy to lay aside my wants, desires, and opinion when following you. My foolish heart often believes that I know a better way than you… particularly when you lead me through suffering. Teach my heart to focus on your priorities for my life, not my own. Teach me, Lord, to trust where you lead. Teach me, Lord, to hold tight in times of trial. Teach me, Lord, to follow. Thank you for the cross, thank you for the suffering you endured on my behalf. Let my life be used for your glory.

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