Peter was upset. He was upset with what Jesus was telling them about the near future. For months now Jesus had been preaching and teaching about the kingdom of God that was at hand. The disciples were of the opinion that hope of Israel had come, and before long there would be the rising up of this kingdom and the overthrow of the Roman empire. But now Jesus is telling them that he is going to be put to death – he will be arrested and executed. That was not something that Peter wanted to hear or to accept, so he took Jesus aside and assured him that as long as Peter was alive he would not let anyone lay a hand on Jesus. Jesus response was “get behind me Satan! You are not talking God talk, you are talking man talk. You are trying to trip me up from fulfilling my mission.” Jesus now turned to the twelve . . .

Matthew 16:24-25

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.


Jesus tells the twelve, there are two approaches to life. There is the approach of living for yourself, and there is the approach of living for God. Jesus wants the twelve to know that choosing the first approach will not lead to anything positive. He points out in the next few sentences that even though the person pursuing the path of living for self may acquire a great deal of wealth and possessions, those things will be of no value when they cease to breathe. All the money in the world cannot save your soul from the curse and the wages of sin. However, Jesus tells us that when we follow the example that he gave to us of saying, “Father, not my will but yours be done,” eternal life is the end result. Abundant life - life to full - is not found in the obtaining of material things. Abundant life is found in making Jesus the King of who I am. Abundant life is found in really living for God - even when it does not seem to be to my advantage or comfort. Abundant life - eternal life is found when obedience to the Word of God becomes my only purpose and desire.

What a radical theology in the culture in which we live! In our culture the only reason for self-denial is if it will make us skinnier, more beautiful, or richer. But Jesus wants us to know, that kingdom living is all about what God wants - regardless of the immediate consequences. Kingdom living is not about our comfort, our gain, or our dreams. Kingdom living is all about obeying Jesus.

So, Lord, as I begin another day I am reminded to pray, may your kingdom come and your will be done in my live today . . .


Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Thursday  Jan. 13, 2011   Gen. 25-26, Matt. 16-17, Psalm 13, Proverbs 13

Friday      Jan. 14, 2011   Gen. 27, Matt. 18, Psalm 14, Proverbs 14

Saturday  Jan. 15, 2011   Gen. 28-29, Matt. 19-20, Psalm 15. Proverbs 15

Sunday    Jan. 16, 2011   Gen. 30, Matt. 21, Psalm 16, Proverbs 16

Monday   Jan. 17, 2011   Gen. 31, Matt. 22, Psalm 17, Proverbs17

Tuesday  Jan. 18, 2011   Gen. 32-33, Matt 23, Psalm 18, Proverbs 18