You know its gonna be a bad day when Jesus calls you Satan.

Mark 8: 27-35

“Peter answered him, ‘you are the Christ’…Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.” v.29,32

One day Jesus and his disciples are traveling and asks them a question. As usual, when Jesus asks a question, he’s not looking for information. He’s the master teacher and uses questions to help us think. He asks them, “who do people say I am?” He allows them to retell what they’ve overheard from others, “some say, you’re one of the prophets, Elijah, John the Baptist…” Then Jesus drives it a little deeper to the greater question. It doesn’t really matter what others are telling you about Jesus, the real question is, “Who do you say I am?” Peter, from the front of the class is the first to answer, “You are the Christ!” Nice job, Peter, you get an “A” in Christology class. He realized, perhaps at that very moment it dawned on him, that Jesus is the promised one, the anointed savior of the world. A little later, as they walk along, Peter still basking in the glow of his revelation, Jesus proceeds to unfold the final stage of his mission to earth. “The Son of man must suffer….and be rejected…and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Once again, from the front of the class, Peter jumps up but this time takes the position of teacher; “he took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him.” Bad move Pete! The other disciples cringed as Jesus turned and gave Peter that “Oh-no-you-didn’t” look. I can hear John whispering to Andrew, “This is not going to end well.” He was right. You know it’s gonna be a bad day when the savior of the world looks you in the eye and says, “Get behind me Satan…” It is a bit ironic that one minute I can be saying to Jesus, “You are the Christ.” and the next minute I can attempt to take him aside and try to correct him. That’s what Peter did, and it’s what I do way too often. Too often I stop confessing and start correcting him. When that happens I become a stumbling block, instead of a stepping stone to his glory. I become an adversary instead of an emissary of his majesty. I have to learn that if Jesus really is the Christ, the anointed one, then I must trust his plan completely, even when it makes no sense. It’s a bit inconsistent to say “You are the Christ.” then follow up my confession with, “Now wait just a minute Jesus. I have a better plan.”  Are you struggling with the master’s plan today? Is he calling you to a cross when you’d rather hang out at Herod’s palace? Are you  tempted to rewrite the gospel message, because you think your version is more “relevant” than the original? Are you torn between your common sense religion and his radical call to obedience? You’re in a tough spot. It’s time to decide between confession and correction. Will you take him aside and try to change his plan to fit more comfortably into your life? If so it’s not going to end well. You may hear your Lord say something like he said to Peter. On the other hand, the best choice is to believe that if he is worthy of being called Christ, he is also worthy of your obedience and trust. The you will hear him say something entirely different, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

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