Bible Society of South Africa
Neville Turley

Time is precious – Day 6

Living a life of faith

Bible text(s)

24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me.

Matthew 16:24GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus decided the time was ripe to seriously deliberate with his disciples. So he took them into Caesarea Philippi where they had a heart-to-heart discussion.

Were the disciples aware of what was happening? Who did the people think Jesus was? Who did they (the disciples) think he was? These were the questions Jesus posed to his disciples. Peter speaks on behalf of the group: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus is pleased with the answer and blesses Peter for it. The disciples believed (as the Jews did) that when the Messiah came to earth, he would establish the promised kingdom in a physical sense and their nation would rule the world.

So, Jesus explains to the disciples that the promised kingdom would be established but through his humiliation and his death. However, on the third day, he would be raised to life.

The disciples are shattered by these revelations. Peter takes Jesus to one side and begins to rebuke him. Imagine! Jesus turns to Peter and firmly puts him down: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (Matthew 16:23).

Peter did not expect to go from hero to zero for his concern for Jesus. But Jesus was briefing his disciples on what a life of faith really entailed. It is not hitching a ride on a gravy train but a case of living a life of denial and facing hardships for his sake. “Take up your cross and follow me,” is the invitation from Jesus.

Are you prepared to accept it? It is the only way to eternal life in his kingdom.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.8
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