Summary: Are we building blocks or stumbling blocks? Peter’s encounter with Christ. Peters words seem right but they are not our Lords way.

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In the name of the Father, son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Words don’t come easy, they certainly don’t. A song by F R


You could be forgiven for thinking that over recent weeks

quite a few of the readings set for either our morning service or

evening service have featured Peter in some shape or form. From

walking on water to the recognition of who Christ was and today

the rock who Jesus said peter was became the rock which caused

Jesus to stumble. What had peter said that made Jesus react in

the way he did? the answer lies in what Jesus said to Peter

following his remarks on how he cannot let Jesus suffer. “You

think as men think not as God thinks”. Words don’t come easy

and when they do they can often be wrong, misunderstood,

misinterpreted or be taken out of context.

Peter understandably was appalled to think that the

Messiah, the Christ must be put to death. We have the benefit

of knowing the complete story. We know that this passage of

scripture falls between the miracles and was Jesus was teaching.

It must have been like doing a jigsaw but without the

picture. Peter’s reaction was natural. Kings don’t suffer for

their people, it is the people who suffer for the king. Perhaps

Peter was waiting for Jesus to tell him how he planned to

overthrow and oust the Romans, but this is Jesus standing and

speaking on true authority that a true disciple and follower of

God is also expected to suffer. This will involve self-denial,

putting God and other people first. Jesus, when in the Garden of

Gethsememe was not looking forward to dying on the cross but he

prayed “Not my will but yours will be done”. As I said earlier,

words don’t come easy.

It is not popular, it is not easy but God calls and equips us

to do it in the power of the Holy Spirit. But we have to rely upon

His spirit and not our own.

There are times in our lives when words fail us, but it is not

just finding the words that is important, words without meaning

are worthless, words without understanding and action are

worthless. The message that we need to understand, and

understand clearly, that God chose Jesus’s death on the cross as

the only way by which all humankind could be restored to a right

relationship. It is a way that would have been unthinkable to a

first century Jew like Peter. It is a way that can seem barbaric

and unjust to people today.

We have to give our life to Jesus in order to gain a true

life. Not existing but living it to the full knowing that we wake up

each day with God as our best friend.

Our life is precious, priceless, and more important than

owning the whole world. We cannot give anything to buy our soul

the only price that could buy us has already been paid by our

Lord. When we fully recognise this, it shows that we really

understand the lengths that God has gone to in saving us. This

shows that we have given up our lives in order to gain life. This

life is eternal life, eternal not only in its length but also its

breadth. Eternal life is not only everlasting it is a quality of life,

a life in the right relationship with God the Father. A life where

one day there will be no more death of mourning, weeping or pain

because the old order of things has passed.

In the previous chapter of Matthew we had peter being

described by Jesus as a rock on which I will build my church.

From being a solid rock to being a stumbling block, from being a

hero with the disciples to zero. How do we see ourselves?

Building blocks or stumbling blocks? In Paul’s letter to the church

in Galashia in which he says ‘ I have been crucified with Christ

and it is no longer I who live but Christ in me and the life which I

now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God. He who

loved me and gave himself up for me. Denying self is not starving

yourself or living in a rat hole but it is an attitude that is

demonstrated in Galashians who live for Jesus and we look to

fulfil his purpose’s. So that’s how Christ sees us as building

blocks. What about stumbling blocks? Living for yourself, look

after number one jack I’m all right. Living for self is an attitude

of seeking yourself first, Jesus warned many times about the full

hardiness of living for self. Most of us here today would see

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David Buckle

commented on Nov 13, 2013 the world's is not always following, but they might not know the truth.

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