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Surrender to the Cross

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Surrender

Jesus explained to His disciples that His death was near (v. 21). He explained how it would be necessary for Him to go to Jerusalem where He would suffer many things at the hands of the religious leaders, and eventually He would be killed.

Peter hearing these things, took the Lord aside and began to rebuke Him (v. 22). Though he spoke in private, Peter may have had the support of the others on this occasion. He could not understand how Jesus could be Messiah and yet die at the hands of the religious leaders. Until he was filled with the Spirit, he had a tendency to argue with God’s Word.

Peter had become an instrument of Satan, trying to persuade Jesus from becoming the Redeemer.  Jesus rebuked Peter by saying “Get out of my way, Satan” (v. 23)! It is very sobering to see how a person as close to the Lord as Peter was, could so easily become an instrument of Satan.

The Lord goes on to show that discipleship involves a cost (vv. 24-26). He uses the phrase, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (v.24). To deny  self does not necessarily mean to give up things but to give yourself wholly to Christ and identify in His shame and death (vv. 27-28). To take up a cross does not mean to carry burdens or have problems. It simply means making oneself completely available to the master. True disciples have the promise of full reward at His coming (v. 27).

Application

How would I describe my response to Jesus’ call to discipleship? (1) I can identify with Peter, (2) I’ve got a long way to go, (3) I’m doing everything I know right now.

Matthew 16:21-28 (English Standard Version)

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man." Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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