Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Each day I rise with expectations, you do too. I expect to make a difference, to help others, to love and receive love, to accept and be accepted, to be kind and compassionate. I expect to make it through the day alive and joyful. What are your expectations?
This week began with the remembrance of Jesus’ “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem, the beginning of Holy Week, the week in which He dies. That was not what His friends expected. Rarely do we expect death – and we certainly do not invite it.
In Matthew 16:16, Peter makes an honest confession of who Jesus is:
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am? Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” Matthew 16:15-16
Peter in essence says, YOU ROCK! I’m all in Jesus! He proclaims the truth that Jesus acknowledges is the foundation of our life and His church.
Then a few moments later, Jesus predicts His death. Peter says shut up, never. He contradicts Jesus Christ and receives a strong reply from the Lord.
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “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 16:21-23
It is mind boggling how quickly Peter moved from getting it right to getting it terribly wrong. From walking in step with Christ to arguing with Him, certain his way was right.
Peter had expectations of Jesus, and none of them included His death. When Jesus signaled that He would not meet Peter’s expectations, Peter got in Jesus’ face. Peter was so confident of his expectations of Jesus. His confidence was not guided by truth, but by his misguided expectations. His desire, though kind and well intentioned, would have derailed the work of the cross, salvation, and eternal life.
It may have seemed noble and good to defend Jesus’ life, but Peter’s expectations were flawed. Jesus in essence says they are horribly wrong, even satanic.
What are your expectations? Are they guided by His truth? Are you open to different, even better outcomes? Will you let go of your expectations of others? Will you open up to receiving something better than you expected? In this moment, every moment, God has goodness and blessings for you – even if they are not what you expect.