“No Way” vs The Way
I appreciate this small book written specifically about the relationship between Peter and Jesus, “A Fragile Stone ” by Michael Card. (FYI there are $6 used copies on ebay). It’s not just commentary, it’s opportunity to learn about our own relationships with Jesus and Jesus with us, as we learn our humanness.
I appreciate that conversation between Peter and Jesus is our conversation too… we can see/hear ourselves in Peter’s humanness for sure… we can feel Jesus’s tenderness in understanding Peter who takes a while to understand who Jesus really is, and we can feel the occasional “what were you thinking!” “ughs” in Jesus’s tone towards Peter… it was important that there was a friendship between Peter and Jesus, the man and Messiah, a familiarity and openness. We also see the rebukes of Peter’s messiness by the Messiah thru His Message, and we see the reconciliation. Peter being Peter is our example of why Jesus chose us too – Jesus came to save, to heal, to teach. Jesus came to get into our mess.
The Matthew 16:13-23 passage about Peter’s shock that Jesus would die on the cross is a blindside that he didn’t see coming and it took a long time for it to register with Peter. Peter essentially abruptly said: “NO WAY!” Jesus said “Satan get behind me.”
Peter: NO WAY!
We say NO WAY in disbelief all the time. I can hear myself say that. I’ve heard it a LOT recently. We get shocked. The satanic reference (and worldly existence of distractions getting in Jesus’s Way) in conversation between Jesus and Peter behooves us to be examining our life thru our human point of view. Are we also trying to second guess Jesus? Isn’t that surely from the bite on that apple? The human brain lost its way, but Jesus’s Way brings us back on our way to His Way. If all will kneel for Jesus, and follow Him, then He can guide all.
That bite, we weren’t there, but that is what took a bite out of our lives. And Jesus was made for the healing. Jesus gets us out of the mess. This and all ages of mess bested by the Messiah of Ages, the Message.
That Peter moment is us. Totally us. We put the “No” in front of the Way. We cannot fathom all the Ways of God. Jesus wishes us to see life in His Way. We have to admit that sometimes instead of standing still, we still stand in our own way, blocking our way, not seeing clearly. We are human. Jesus is divine. Way divine. WAY WAY WAY DIVINE.
Jesus sees from God’s point of view. Can we glimpse that? climb past ourselves? look forward and leave the rest behind? Can we understand that Jesus put Satan behind him, moved the snake and eventually crushed the snake as He arose defeating death. Jesus kept walking and working forward, He still does to this day. His Way is the High Way, the Right Way, the Only Way. The Way that saves your day.
Jesus is the Way. The “NO WAY” of Peter (and us) is WAY behind us now. We are Peter people too, but we can learn. Peter and we can ROCK the Way.
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Jesus Predicts His Death
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus 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.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.