Sunday, August 21, 2011

What Does Jesus Want?

Today's sermon focused on the Matthew 16:13-20.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Peter got it that time, but two verses later (not mentioned in the sermon) he rebukes Christ.

Typical Petros.

How typical of us as well. Most of the time when we try to figure out what Jesus means, we guess wrong, and when we do get it, the next minute we screw up.

And what does Jesus say when Peter screws up? Not, "There, there, don't fret. Everything is going to be all right." No, instead of soothing words, Peter, and we, hear:
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

The other day I was watching Mother Angelica's Greatest Hits, and she said something about confession and how it is not something to be done every ten years. She said that once a week was doing good. I think that Peter's example shows the need for confession to be a bit more frequent because no sooner than we walk out of church on any given Sunday we are going to screw up, and when we do, like Peter, we become an obstacle to Him.

It is hard for us to see ourselves as God does. When we do get a glimpse, and we get it, it is a very humbling moment, and it makes me want to confess right on the spot.

Scroll to 15:19-17:03 and then to 41:00-42:20 of the Mother Angelica video below.

Give thanks to God that He wants to save us from ourselves.

Now, go treat yourself to a chocholate sundae!


  1. ToilNotSpin12:10 AM

    What an interesting comment about Peter, the disciple who obviously represents the best and the clumsiest in his wisdom and intentions. But I believe, although we are not nearly as close to Christ as Peter is, that passage gives us a wonderful example of Christ's direct dealings with us. He often speaks sharply to Peter--but Peter is ultimately the foundation of His Church.

    Perhaps we can also use this to remember that when we fail, as we will (as Peter did) and Christ has to correct us, that He still loves us deeply. That should give us the incentive to admit our shortcomings and try to correct them--that we want to show our love for the One who love us so much.

  2. Our pastor had a sermon series on the Beatitudes and discussed "poor in spirit," as seeing ourselves the way God does. I'm not sure I'm very good at handling the disappointment that would cause.

  3. TNS, I believe you have the key to responding to Randall's comment.

    Imagine seeing ourselves as God sees us, as a loving Father. Perhaps the times He shows us up as being poor in spirit, or the times He shows us tough love, are disappointing to us, but in the long run, those times are there because He loves us so very much.