Past Issues

Jesus -- the Guru #35

“The Master Prepares for the Climax”


The opposition was increasing. The storm clouds were gathering on the horizon. Jesus had been in ministry teaching and healing and sharing God’s love for three years. His enemies could tolerate Him no longer. Jesus was destroying their religion and their power. He had to go.


Jesus knew His time of ministry would be brief. That is why He prepared a group of apostles to carry on after Him. During His closing days, Jesus’ attention drew more and more to preparing them for their new responsibility.


A. Allegiance of the Master’s Followers


Read Matthew 16:13-28.



Peter’s Confession of Christ


13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”


14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”


15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”


16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”


17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Jesus Predicts His Death


21From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.


22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”


23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”


24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.28I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


 


The themes of Jesus’ final teaching all come together in this passage.


First we must recognize and accept Who Jesus is, if we are to follow Him (vv. 13­16).


For Jews, the one they must follow was the “Messiah” (Greek: “Christ”). He was the Expected One. He would be God Himself come to rescue His People. He would call all to repentance and bring a new life on earth.


The head disciple Peter steps forward to announce that they have accepted Jesus as their Master. Jesus rejoices that His apostles are getting ready. He promises that Satan himself will not be able to stand against them. (v. 18)


When we accept Jesus as our Master today, Jesus makes that same promise to us. How does that make you feel?


As Jesus prepares His disciples during these crucial days, we see Him drawing their attention more and more to the ultimate purpose for which the Father sent Him: the forgiveness of sin.


Jesus tells His disciples that the message and task He would be leaving them was no less than “the keys of heaven.” (v. 19) Jesus is calling them to join in His great purpose of forgiving sin and opening doors of heaven for all people.


Can you imagine having that call and responsibility today? You have it if you become Jesus’ disciple!


How do you think Jesus’ disciples felt when He began expecting their allegiance and calling them to their task? How would you feel today?


Looking forward to talking with you more about this.  Send me an email today,


Yesudas


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