Last week we read about Peter's confession of faith that Jesus was the Messiah, and Jesus saying "You are Peter, and on this rock I shall build my church . . ." The sermon was about the "Keys of the Kingdom" and my understanding of the difference between "Remembrance" and "Recollection." I did not, however, make any mention of the last, what some people might consider "strange," verse where Jesus tells his disciples not to tell anyone that he is the Messiah. I wonder why?
This Sunday's Gospel Lesson follows right on the heels of last week's. We'll hear Matthew 16:21-28. Here Jesus starts to "deconstruct" the common notion of "Messiah" which his disciples undoubtedly held. That is to say, that the Messiah would be a military/political figure who would throw off the yoke of Roman foreign domination and 'let freedom ring.' No, Jesus now begins to tell his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem to be crucified. And . . . and that any who wanted to come along should "take up their cross and follow."
What does that mean to you? What does it mean to "take up our cross and follow Jesus?" It gets real at this point!!
Pr. Dave Brauer-Rieke
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