Something More Important Than Our Life
A. Jesus corrects our expectation (27-33)
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” 30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. 31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
1. We have wrong expectations for Jesus
2. Jesus wants each of us to make a personal decision
3. He teaches us God’s thoughts
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
B. What awaits us at the end of our walk with Jesus (34-9:1)
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
1. Something more important than our life
34 Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
36, 37 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
2. The hope to see the kingdom of God
9:1 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
We all bring various expectations and desires to Jesus. While some of them are wrong in the first place, others are desired in a wrong way if they become more important than Jesus for us. That’s why Jesus sometimes makes us stop to answer His question “Who am I for you?” and redirects our thoughts and ways. In the end, He will lead us to the state where we can rejoice over and seek from our heart something more important than our own life.
1) Share with others your experience that your desires were redirected and corrected by Jesus.
2) What are the joy and hope that Jesus can give us, even when our deep wish cannot be fulfilled?