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This week our gospel reading from Mark ch. 8 includes Peter’s good confession that Jesus is the Christ. Shortly after that when Jesus is teaching about his sufferings that must take place, Peter takes Jesus aside and rebukes him for saying such things, which in turn earns him our Lord’s rebuke “Get behind me Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” So often we get in trouble when we’re trying to do good; when we’re trying to be good and even help.
The struggle for sinners, which is all inclusive of every living, breathing human being, is that it’s so easy to be focused on the things of man, our things, the daily grind, our responsibilities, and even our vocations given by God…while failing first and foremost to keep our eyes on Christ and letting all the other things fall into place. This comes to us by nature. It takes a lot of strength and effort and focus to set our minds on Godly things and it’s a struggle. We’re very much like Peter who nails it one minute and the next has his foot in his mouth and has it all wrong. The call of Lent is to repent and to fix our eyes on Christ and His cross. But we’re not left alone to struggle, and neither is Peter.
Jesus teaches. He teaches the crowds, the disciples, and he teaches us. Continually, and without fail or abandon. Peter is not just roasted for what was wrong, Jesus taught him why it was wrong, and what was right. Jesus speaks plainly concerning his death and resurrection. He speaks plainly about our salvation in him, and that there is no other way. He is the way the truth and the life.
With all the trials and struggles and temptations you face, focus on Jesus words of life to you; meditate on His word, and what he plainly speaks to us concerning what had to happen to Him in His suffering and death so that 3 days later He rose from the grave. This was so that the glory of the resurrection and the forgiveness of sins and the eternal kingdom of heaven could happen to you dear friends.
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