Peter, Matthew 16:13 – 28
A pivotal moment, a pivotal statement. Peter and Jesus have grown so close. When Jesus asks the million-dollar question (who do you say I am?), Peter is the first to speak up and he gets it right. All the time they have spent together has finally paid off. Peter gets it; he gets the whole ‘God with us’ thing. This is going to be good! This is what they all have been waiting for. But when Jesus talks about the rest of his mission, Peter says No! He is not about to lose his friend now, and this is not what the whole ‘God with us’ thing is supposed to be about.
We don’t want those we love to suffer, do we? We only want their future filled with opportunities and accomplishments, hope and possibilities. But sometimes life doesn’t work out that way. Jesus chose the life of a soldier, someone who put himself in complete obedience to God’s will. Where God said go, Jesus went. What God said do, Jesus did. We all know there’s a price for following our convictions even if it’s nothing more than standing up for our political candidate on the internet. Choices have consequences.
To put ourselves under God’s authority, to choose to follow Jesus all the way to the cross has consequences, as Peter found out all too well. Like Peter, we will falter and deny Jesus at some point along the path but that does not have to mean that our faith journey is ‘Game Over’. Not by a long shot. The important thing is to do what Peter did — get up and get back on path.
We do not want those we love to suffer but both Jesus and Peter show us that suffering and blessing can coexist together. As long we are on this side of heaven, they always will.