May 26, 2023
ACCEPTING THE SUFFERING WITH THE VICTORY
Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead. As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
Mark 8:31-33 NLT
In just one moment of time Peter goes from speaking the words of God to speaking the words of Satan. Just before this exchange Peter had proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Then, when Jesus begins to talk about rejection and death Peter decides it is his duty to correct Jesus. Perhaps Peter got a little cocky after his great announcement that Jesus was the Christ. Perhaps hearing Jesus say to him in front of the others that God had revealed that truth to him made Peter a little arrogant. Perhaps he thought he had divine wisdom even above Jesus. It seems we are often the most vulnerable following a great victory. Just check out Elijah after Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18. The next day he is in depression and complaining to God about how bad his life was. Perhaps Peter was also not willing to consider pain as part of God’s plan. He was still ready to set up an earthly kingdom and overthrow Rome. He wanted victory and a kingdom, not rejection and a cross. Jesus told them about the suffering, the rejection, the death, and the resurrection. But Peter didn’t like the suffering, rejection, and death. Maybe he didn’t hear about the resurrection because he was focused on the suffering, rejection, and death part. Being a follower of Jesus involves the suffering and the resurrection. We will have times of extreme pain. But we will also have times of incredible victory. While we may feel rejected by others, we know that we are accepted by Jesus.
Holy Spirit help me to accept the whole plan of God—not just the good times. Help me to see the coming victory while I am in the times of suffering.
“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”