Bible readings: Psalm 133:1-3, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20
Today’s reading talks about Jesus asking His disciples not to disclose information of His Messiahship to the general public. The readings also entail Jesus giving more information about who the Messiah really was. Jesus had moved from the stage of revelation to explanation of the revelation.It was in the course of the explanation that Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked Him. Jesus noted that if disclosing a little more information to Peter got him to react that way, how would the general public have reacted if they found out that the Messiah was truly in their midst? That might have led to truncating the mission of Jesus.Every Jew knew what would happen to the Messiah. Psalms 22 and 110, as well as Isaiah 53 had given foreknowledge of what would happen to the Messiah and Jesus was only repeating those very things. Jesus was therefore saying to His disciples, “If you have recognised me as the Messiah, then let me remind you of the other things that have been said about Him, things you already know.Peter probably had cause to rebuke Jesus because he(Peter) had stopped listening to Him after He spoke about suffering and death; otherwise he would’ve realised that the story had a happy ending. Most of us stop listening to God when we face difficulties in life. We feel that the Christian life should be one rosy bed of miracles. Well guess what, sometimes God does send hardship our way because the truth is this ephemeral life we live here on earth is an obstacle course. Death is simply an end to that race although sometimes a wrong turn in a certain direction can take you completely off course in the race; premature death.(Judges 3:1-4, Samuel 16:14 and 2 Corinthians 12:7-9)
Jesus referred to Peter as Satan. Sometimes I wonder, was Peter possessed by a demon or had he become the devil. However I don’t think Jesus was addressing Peter. Peter only found himself being used a vessel for the devil the operate. Jesus addressed Peter as Satan because another name for Satan is the adversary.At that point in time Peter allowed himself to be used to oppose the full mission of the Messiah-which included the Way of the Cross-that He had to go through before getting the Crown. This was not the first time Satan was using this strategy. Satan wanted Jesus to “do something small” (bow to me) in the temptation episode in the desert to get the glories of the world. When he (Satan)failed, he left Him for an opportune time (Luke 4:13). We as Christians should always be on guard. Striving to always be on the side of eternal life. Throughout an eyeopening and conscious walk on my own in serving the Lord I have come to a firm realisation that the most difficult task one engage in is in his walk to become a full fledged Christian however, it’s also the safest. So now I ask you, what’s more important? A season go goodies and an eternity of regret or a season of utmost discipline and an eternity of revelry.
Four lessons I learnt from today’s devotion:- We should strive to know the ways of God and never position ourselves as Satan.-The way of the Lord includes the cross (Suffering is part of the journey)-Jesus was straightforward in addressing evil. We should not flirt with evil.-To avoid being used by Satan to operate we should ask ourselves, “Am I an advocate or an Adversary of God”
This brings us to the end of this week’s devotion guys. Thank you so much if you made it this far. God bless you! I wish you all the best in the week ahead.