It's All About Jesus, It's Not About You
Sermon shared by Jerry Falwell
Summary: Much of our Christianity is concerned about me. Christians emphasize my forgiveness, my answered prayers, my blessings, and my spiritual gifts, and my Christian service. But at Easter, Peter had to learn, "It’s about Jesus, it’s not about you."
Audience: General adults
But immediately, Peter and Jesus went on different tracks; heading into different directions. Jesus was thinking of the cross and suffering. Peter was thinking of the Kingdom and its glories.
“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Matthew 16:21). Jesus knew the cross waited for Him where He would die for the sins of the world. The cross was the next great item on the agenda of Jesus and He knew He could not by-pass the cross.
It’s been said, everything in life is perception and expectation. Jesus expected the cross, Peter expected to live in a glorious kingdom. Jesus was about the cross. Peter was about the Kingdom.
Because Peter had the wrong expectations, he had to learn a very important lesson. “Peter, it’s about Jesus; it’s not about you.”
Peter rebuked Jesus saying, “Be it far from thee,
Lord . . .” (Matthew 16:22). Peter didn’t want anything to do with the cross because it was ghastly . . . it was agony . . . it was humiliation . . . it was final. Peter didn’t have any room in his life for the cross.
But Jesus had other thoughts, Jesus said to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23). What did Jesus call Peter? He called him “Satan” because Peter wanted Jesus to by-pass the cross for the glories of the Kingdom. Peter wanted the same thing that Satan wanted.
Some people listening to me today want to by-pass the cross, they want to by-pass the humiliation and agony of Jesus’ death, just to enjoy the good things of the Christian life. Be careful, just as Jesus said to Peter, “Get thee behind Me, Satan.” He may say the same thing to you.
Jesus said that Peter wanted to enjoy the things of man, not the things of God. Remember the point of this sermon, “It’s about Jesus, Peter; it’s not about you.”
66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest . . . . 69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is [one] of them. 70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art [one] of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth [thereto]. 71 But he began to curse and to swear, [saying], I know not this man of whom ye speak. 72 And . . . Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept (Mark 14:66-72).
Let’s move quickly to the blackness of Jesus’ arrest and trial. While Jesus was being tried before the High Priest, Caiaphas, Peter was outside warming himself by the fires, “He sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire” (Mark 14:54).
(1) Peter was trying to follow the Lord, at least he had followed Jesus to the place where Jesus was tried;
(2) Peter was concerned about his physical feelings, i.e., he was cold;
(3) Peter was with
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