Summary: Stressing the importance of living for Christ instead of ourselves and our designs.

Putting Jesus’ Agenda First (Part 1)

Matthew 16:21-28

March 4, 2007

How many of you here had parents at one time or another?

Was there ever a time when you felt that you knew better than your parents – about any given topic?

If you’ve never felt that way, then something’s wrong, and we’ll have a healing service after church, okay?

And how many of you, after you’d grown up a bit, found out that maybe Mom and Dad were actually right about some of that stuff?

It’s never happened to me, but I’ve heard of it happening to others…

The really hard part isn’t realizing they were right – it was admitting it to them, right?

One of the struggles of the Christian faith is admitting to God that He’s right about stuff.

That’s never fun, because we first have to admit that we were wrong in the first place. And who wants to do that?

The great thing about that, though, is that when we finally get the picture and get out of the way with our foolish ideas, God can really do His thing – in us and through us.

But it has to start with us understanding a very basic fact - Jesus knows better than we do.

And we need to trust Him in all things, especially in regard to His words about the Kingdom and His purposes.

We’re not alone in thinking we know better than someone else, even God. Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples thought He knew better than Jesus.

He thought he had a better idea of what the Messiah was supposed to do than the Messiah Himself.

And we’re going to find some of the harshest words of Jesus in Scripture as Jesus talks with Peter about His error.

Matthew 16:21-28 (p. 694) –

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, chief priests and 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 things of God, but the things of men."

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his 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 he has done. 28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

Next week we’re going to look at verses 24-28 and look at how this affects us on a very personal level. Today I want to focus on verses 21-23.

In these three verses are found a very powerful lesson that, if we let it, can affect us on both an individual level and on the level of our church.

Remember that Jesus had just asked Peter and the others what others were thinking He was as well as why THEY thought Jesus was.

Peter spoke up with a revelation from the Father that Jesus was the Christ – the Son of the Living God. The Messiah.

And it’s from this point that Jesus begins to let the disciples in on the fact that the Messiah had to die at the hands of the religious leaders and rise again.

Now I understand that Peter didn’t totally get the picture and that we have the benefit of having a Bible, but doesn’t it just seem a little absurd to try and set Jesus straight about ANYTHING?

“Yo, Jesus! I know more about God’s will than You do!”

Peter was way out of his league here.

Peter’s words here make about as much sense as Osama bin Ladin giving advice about non-violence to Ghandi.

Peter and the others were still living under the idea that the Messiah would be a Warrior-Savior who would come and save Israel from oppression.

So when Jesus, whom Peter had just identified as the Son of God – the Messiah, says He’s going to die, this kinda shakes up the scene.

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