Summary: That we need to listen to God and not be afraid to turn our lives over to him.
Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse code operator. Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed. When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background. A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office.
The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area. After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. They muttered among themselves that they hadn’t heard any summons yet. They assumed that the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified.
Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled.”
The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!”
The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse code: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.’ None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his.”
We live in a world that is full of busyness and clatter, like that office. People are distracted and unable to hear the still, small voice of God as he speaks in creation, in the Scriptures, or in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Are you tuned in to God’s voice? Do you hear him when he speaks to you? Are you listening? Remember when we spoke of the transfiguration two weeks ago and God said “This is my Son, whom I love…Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5).
Aww but did they? Did they listen to the Son? Let’s look at our scripture…in your pew; right in front of you is a Bible. I want you to open your Bibles to Mark 8:27-30. This is on page 59 of the New Testament section of you pew Bibles. This is an introduction into our scripture passage today:
In your pew Bibles the description of the passage is called Peter’s declaration about Jesus.
27Then Jesus and his disciples went away to the village near Ceasara Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Tell me, who people say I am.” 28”Some say that you are John the Baptist,” they answered; “others say that you are Elijah, while others say that you are one of the prophets.”
29 “What about you?” he asked them, “Who do you say I am.”
Peter answered¸ “You are the Messiah.
30 Then Jesus ordered them, “Do not tell anyone about me.”
Peter was quick to answer who he though Jesus was, he was quick and I do believe Peter was sincere. Peter was human. Peter is actually one of my favorite disciples. Peter was quick in word and did not always think things through. Sound like anyone you might know? Sometimes in all honesty, my friends, that is me. My mouth goes into overdrive before my brain kicks in.
Why then does Peter not believe Christ when he is told of the upcoming events of Christ’s rejection, death and resurrection? Why does Peter pull Jesus aside and reproach him?
Listen to what Jesus says and you will have that answer:
“Get away from me Satan. Your thoughts do not come from God but from man.”
Peter was a man. He was thinking like a man. When we love someone, when we admire someone, when someone comes into our lives we do not want to think that we may loose him or her. We want them with us forever.
Peter didn’t want to face that pain of knowing that Jesus would leave him. So Christ tells him that his thoughts are not God thought but the thoughts of a man.
It’s hard for any of us to have God thoughts but in the next passage Christ challenges us to do just that.
34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?