The Lord’s Day, March 25, 2018
Read Matthew 16:15-27
15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” …
… 22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
What Are Your Expectations?
Each day I rise with expectations, you likely do too. Maybe a heart that is hopeful for good, for success, for love, for peace, for acceptance and kindness. Do you know your expectations?
Today we mark the remembrance of Jesus “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem, the beginning of Holy Week, the week in which He dies. That was not what His friends expected. Rarely do we expect death – and we certainly do not invite it.
In Matthew 16:16, Peter makes an honest confession of who Jesus is – He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. A profound truth that Jesus says will be the foundation of His church, the family of God. Then a few moments later, after Jesus predicts and invites His death, Peter is contradicting the Christ and receiving a strong rebuke from the Lord.
It is mind boggling how quickly we can move from getting it right to getting it terribly wrong. From walking in step with Christ, to arguing with God, certain our way is right.
Peter had expectations of Jesus, and none of them included His death. And when Jesus signaled that He would not meet Peter’s expectations, Peter got in Jesus face and said, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”
Peter was so confident in his expectations of Jesus, who he should be, how he should live. Yet his confidence was not guided by truth, but his own desire. His desire, though seemingly kind and good, would have aborted the work of the cross, salvation, forgiveness, reconciliation to God, eternal life and glory.
Wow! I suspect it just seemed good to want Jesus to live. But Peter’s expectations were flawed. What are your expectations? Are you open to different outcomes? Are you willing to remove “should and ought” from your expectations of others? Are you open to receiving, in this moment, each moment, what God has for you – even if it is not what you expect?
Father, I welcome everything that comes to me today, because I know it’s for my healing. I let go of my desire for power and control. I let go of my expectations and surrender them to You. I am open to Your love and presence and Your action within me and in the world today. Amen.