Lent Devotional: Matthew 16:13-23

by Jonathan Haefs

Matthew 16:13-23 (click here)
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man. (Matthew 16:21-23)

So often, God’s ways do not makes sense to us.

Jesus headed for suffering and death seemed so unnecessary…naturally his closest friends would think it a good thing to protect him from such a fate. Peter meant his words to Jesus as an expression of love and loyalty… yet Jesus saw them in a completely opposite light.

Jesus says that Peter has aligned himself with the very one who does not love him and is anything, but loyal…Satan himself.

Why? How?

It’s because Peter has set his mind on the things of man. He is looking at suffering and death from a mere human perspective and it seems a hopeless path.

However, from the eternal perspective of God, the suffering and death of Jesus will bring about the greatest victory ever known! If Peter set his mind on the things of God, even if he didn’t know the details, he would trust Jesus enough to follow him anywhere, even through suffering and death.

Peter knows that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:15-16) and this is what he needs to set his mind upon. Even though he cannot see the point of the path that lies before Jesus…he needs to trust Jesus.

In the midst of our uncertain world and uncertain lives, we are not a hopeless people, but a people of persistent hope because we set our minds not on the things of man and the things of this world…no…we set our minds on the things of God and his kingdom that cannot be shaken.

We set our minds on Jesus Christ and trust him completely…forever…with everything.

*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.