This week's Gospel reading shows a sharp about-face for Peter. After being lauded and honored for his confession that Jesus was the Messiah, Peter now faces the infamous rebuke of his Lord: "Get behind me, Satan!" What brought about this abrupt change of attitude in Jesus? Apparently, it was Peter's refusal to accept "that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer...(Matt. 16:21)" He was ready for Jesus to be crowned Messiah and King, but not to see that rule come through the laying down of Jesus' life. On this side of the cross and the empty tomb, we can at least logically understand Jesus' path of suffering leading to transformation and new life. But I think we still get bogged down in everyday life, and forget this truth. A famous quote from theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer states it this way: "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." (from The Cost of Discipleship) Yet death was not the end for Jesus, and will not be the end for his people.
As we sing this week, one newer song that tells of this life of commitment is "Christ is Enough." You can listen to it here:
Another new song this week focused on our theme is "Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken":