Epiphany 2022, Gospel of Matthew, Day 32 of 58

Start Your Year on Sure Footing, Gospel of Matthew, Day 32 of 58

Reading

Matthew 16:21-28

Scripture

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.”

Observation

Satan is a word that means accuser or adversary. Was Jesus rebuking Peter because Peter was inimical to his mission? Or was Peter possessed by the Devil at the moment he tempted Jesus with the possibility of avoiding the horrific suffering of crucifixion that awaited him in Jerusalem? I think it is a bit of both. Peter was tied up with the human concern of failure when Jesus came to perform a divine mission.

Application

I think the fear of failure keeps me from taking big risks for the kingdom at times. I think all of us want to play it safe at times. Nonetheless, could it be that God calls us to do audacious things that require risk and uncertainty. The answer for me is absolutely. One of the temptations the Devil offers to hinder our work on behalf of God is safety and comfort.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, save me from the wiles of the Devil. I am often tempted to play it safe, and seek my own comfort at the expense of others. Your call to take up the cross is so audacious, I scarce can imagine that I would ever make such a sacrifice. Grant me the courage to make small sacrifices that overcome the temptation of self-preservation. May my sacrifice be fruitful in drawing other believers to the foot of the cross where your mercy freely flows. In the precious name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

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