Summary: Why does it have to be so hard? Doing the most important things in life is often hard. God knows that and will help us!

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March 5, 2006 Jay Davis Robison MATTHEW 16:21-28

Have you ever asked yourself Why does it have to be so hard??

Why does marriage have to be so hard? Raising Kids so hard?

Why is being honest, losing weight, growing in Christ so hard

If doing right is the right thing, why is it so hard?

We all have a natural revulsion to suffering.

No one likes pain or irritation.

Our natural inclination is to avoid suffering at all costs.

There is a lot of hardship in the life

We’re not free from physical & mental sickness, poverty, worries, anxieties, death of those dear to us, failing a test, daily frustrations monotony boredom, being misunderstood,

Lent spiritual renewal to Easter Doing the Difficult Things

Do you have to do any difficult things? At work or home?

Intro idea from Matthew 16 3 truths about difficult things

1. Following Jesus is HARDER THAN YOU THINK

Notice Vs 21 NCV From that time on Jesus began telling his followers that he must go to Jerusalem, where the older Jewish leaders, the leading priests, & the teachers of the law would make him suffer many things. He told them he must be killed and then be raised from the dead on the 3rd day.

Take a look a the musts in this verse

Must go to Jerusalem, center of life for the Jews to heart

While there will Jewish leaders, priests and teachers of law

Will make him suffer he will be ridiculed scorned by society

Must be killed not just that he would die but be killed

In Jerusalem show love which they could accept or reject

Peter just like us, when he hears about suffering no don’t do it

Vs 22 NRSV & Peter took him aside & began to rebuke him, saying, God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.

NCV Peter says “God save you from those things, Lord! Those things will never happen to you!”

Word rebuke is in infinitive mood.

It keeps going, and going, and going… Peter just kept rebuking, & rebuking, & rebuking

And verse says Peter TOOK Him. Greek word proslabomenos. Verb carries implication of having a right to do something. When God’s plan contradicted Peter’s idea of what was best, Peter rebuked Lord. No way God allow death of good man

Jews believed messiah would inflict suffering on enemies

Vs 21 From that time, turning pointing the story, now Jesus is preparing to go to Jerusalem, and die.

He is inviting his disciples to share in the suffering

Vs 13-20 Peter said Jesus you are messiah Son of living God

Yes Jesus said on this truth build my church

And gates of hell not prevail against it

Now Peter called Satan or tool of devil humble warning

Even those closest to Jesus most spiritual, can fall

Far and fast

Peter and his group could not believe Messiah would die

Peter saw Jesus’ words as unnecessary pessimism

Peter shocked to think such terrible things come on Jesus

The disciples said no way.

They wanted an easier way.

Most of the worthy things we do in life are difficult

Staying married, being honest raising kids difficult

2. Following Jesus is NOT WHAT YOU THINK

That is what Peter learned & what we need to learn as well

God doesn’t have to ask us or please us

Really The greatest test of your commitment to God is when God’s plan is different than yours.

One saves life only by losing it

The cross is a way of death,

but it is for Jesus and his followers the way of life thru death

Jesus compelled to suffer the cross not by outward compulsion but by inner. Moved by redeeming love, to cross

26:53 he could have called 10,000 angels to release him

but would not do it example of redeeming love

Vs 24 NKJV Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up

his cross, and follow Me.

Denying selves is not fun nor is it optional not just denying some material thing from us but life given to God

Saying God you are in charge submission to God’s thinking

Deny and take up are aorist past action, decision before

while take up is present now I must, decision then now

And cross can be painful

But The brook would lose its song if we removed the rocks

Someone once said "A Good people are like a tea-leaf:

Their real strength comes out when he is in hot water"

Cross went from being a symbol of shame,

to being a symbol of salvation

Some say in order to be happy do the easiest thing

that makes me feel best.

God says in order to be happy do the right thing

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