“Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord:
this shall not be unto thee.”
Matthew 16:22 (KJV)
How are you? Let’s look at Matthew 16:22 today. This verse kind of baffles me in many ways. Jesus had already asked Peter who he says that Jesus is earlier in the chapter (Matthew 16:15) and Peter answers correctly in Matthew 16:16 as we can see: “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The part that baffles me is, if Peter knows who Jesus is at this point, why would he be so bold as to rebuke him and to his face no less? I am not trying to be self-righteous or anything, but I don’t know if I could do it so boldly like that, if at all. Could you?
In the second part of Matthew 16:22, Peter says, “Be it far from thee, Lord.” I wonder if Peter was trying to be kind and saying, “I hope it isn’t so. I hope they won’t kill you.” Looking at just the middle part of Matthew 16:22, it kind of sounds like Peter is trying to be kind. However, this is why we need to put each word, phrase, and verse into perspective. We need to look at the whole and not just a verse, phrase, or word out of context.
In the last part of Matthew 16:22, Peter flat out tells Jesus, “this shall not be unto thee”. I wonder why Peter thought that he knew better than Jesus in that matter. Peter is human and can’t tell what is going to happen in the future and certainly not better than Jesus. Did Peter think that he could stop it or that Jesus would stop it somehow? What do you think Peter was thinking when he spoke the words written in Matthew 16:22?
It may sound that I am trying to judge Peter or trying to be self-righteous. That is not my intention. I believe it is important to not only read the Bible, but to also ponder and reflect upon the words and meaning. We can learn quite a bit by the actions of those depicted in the Bible. We can read about what they said and did, then ponder and pray about why or how they did it and what God is telling us through their experience.
Another reason that I am not trying to be self-righteous or judge Peter is that I know he is human and humans make mistakes. I also know that I am human and make mistakes. Plus, I know that it is not my place to judge Peter.
The real question for us is, “How do we ‘rebuke’ Jesus with our words or actions?” We may not think of it in that way, but I am guessing at times, we do “rebuke” Jesus through actions or words. Through our actions and words, there are many ways we tell Jesus, “No, it isn’t true. We know better. Our way is better than your way. I want to do it my way and not your way.”
Maybe the verses that baffles us the most are the ones about which we need to pray the most. It could be that God uses our emotions and thoughts to point us in the direction we need to look to reflect on our own words and actions. What do you think?
Thank you for your infinite wisdom and love. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to save us and to be the ultimate roll model in how we should live. Help us to be not only mindful and respectful of that, but to also praise you and honor Jesus’ words instead of to try to do things our own way. Help us to follow Jesus and not contradict his words and your will for us. Help us to learn the message you are giving us. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Matthew 16:22 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 16:22 mean to me?
*What does “rebuke” mean to me?
*What made Peter think that he could rebuke Jesus?
*What did Peter mean by his words spoken to Jesus in Matthew 16:22?
*Could I have rebuked Jesus to his face like that?
*What actions or words of mine can be considered as rebuking Jesus?
*What is God telling or showing me in this verse?
*How can I better adhere to the message in this verse?
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful that you are here. I pray that you are blessed by the Faith Blog. I want to say that I have been blessed to be called to write it. There is quite a bit to take in with today's post. I pray that you ponder it and pray about it. I look forward to your comments, ideas, and feedback. Please, comment below or feel free to contact me. Your ideas are important and they allow us all to learn from each other.
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“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”
Proverbs 13:13 (KJV)
How are you today? Last week I pondered the words in Psalms 119:127 and how the psalmist cherished God’s Word more than the finest gold. You can read it here. Proverbs 13:13 is similar to Psalms 119:127 in that it too shows that we are to cherish God’s Word and commandments.
Let’s look at the first part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV). It says, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed.” What does the “destroyed” mean? To tell you the truth, I am not sure I want to find out. However, if we truly think of God as our Heavenly Father, we know that like any good parent, He only wants what is best for us. His Word will lead us to this goodness. “Destroyed” could be hardship in this life, as in if we don’t follow God’s Word and kill someone we could be sent to jail or even sentenced to death. I would guess that would be a way of being destroyed. Or, maybe we don’t follow God’s Word and we don’t trust Him, so we worry ourselves to death. That could be a way of being destroyed.
While these extreme examples of how not listening to God and how they can destroy us in this life, the worst way it can destroy us is in eternal life, or shall I say eternal death. It may be difficult to deal with the consequences of not following God’s Word in this life, I can’t imagine suffering the consequences in the eternity. I don’t want to be destroyed in this life or in eternity. Do you?
Now that we know we don’t want to be destroyed, let’s look at the second part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV), “but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” It might be nice to know that the word “commandment” here doesn’t just refer to what we call the “Ten Commandments”, but to God’s Word and commands or will for us in general. I believe it means not only what God commands us in scripture, but also through prayer. What about you?
Another word to look at in the second part of Proverbs 13:13 (KJV) is the word “feareth”. What does “feareth the commandment” mean to you? Usually, when I think about “fear” I think about being so afraid of something that I don’t want to be near it. I want to turn and run away from something that I fear. (Insert a picture of a snake chasing me as I think, “feet don’t fail me now.”) However, this isn’t the meaning here. After all, God wants us close to Him and not far from Him. God wants us to cherish His word, to know it, read it, listen to it, and love it always. God doesn’t want us to run away from His Word.
This kind of fear is more of a reverence and respect. It is a fear of going against it, because of the terrible consequences, such as destruction and eternal death. It is like an extreme desire of wanting to do the right thing, to not disappoint God, and to follow His will, not only because we don’t want the consequences of doing something wrong, but also because we love Him and we know He loves us.
I like the last part of Proverbs 13:13 the most. I like the part about …”he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded”. I like the idea of being close to God throughout eternity. That is the ultimate reward for those who follow His Word. It is also another great reason to read the Bible. If we don’t know God’s Word, it is difficult to fear or follow it.
Two posts in a row about cherishing and following God’s Word. Can you tell that I am encouraging you to read scripture for yourself and follow God’s will for you? Like I said before, I am finding that the more I read God’s Word, the more I do cherish it.
Thank you for being our Father in Heaven. Thank you for you holy Word and for giving us a path to you. Help us to read and follow your Word as a way of life, this life and eternal life with you. Help us to take in, understand, and cherish your Word. Help us to be closer to you, now and in eternity. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Proverbs 13:13 (KJV):
*What does Proverbs 13:13 mean to me?
*What does “despiseth” mean to me?
*What does “destroyed” mean to me?
*Do I despise God’s Word?
*Do I cherish God’s Word?
*How do my actions show what I think of God’s Word?
*What does “feareth the commandment” mean to me?
*Do I fear the commandment of God? How do I show it?
*What does “shall be rewarded” mean to me?
*How can I better live according to the words in Proverbs 13:13?
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful that you are here. I pray that you are finding value and even being blessed by the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations. I look forward to your comments. I enjoy reading your thoughts, understanding, and ideas. It helps us all to learn.
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“Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.”
Psalms 119:127 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s post comes from Psalm 119, which is considered one of the “Pilgrimage Songs”. The human author of the psalm is unknown, however, the important point is it is part of God’s Word and God is the ultimate author.
Let me start by asking you, “What is your most prized possession?” I don’t mean family, friends, and other loved ones. I mean a tangible item, a possession. It could be something of great monetary value, maybe a house or a vehicle. It could be an inheritance from a loved one that has invaluable sentimental value with any amount of monetary value. Maybe it is something that has no monetary value at all, but it “means the world” to you for a personal reason. I don’t know. Whatever it is, keep it in mind and keep how much you cherish it in mind. Also, keep the reason you cherish it in mind.
Here is another question for you, before I actually start specifically pondering today’s verse. Do you have a favorite sentiment, saying, or quote that someone you know says that moves you, encourages you, endears you to him or her, or is valuable to you in one way or another? Who says it? How do you feel when he or she says it? Remember that feeling.
Okay, now, let’s look at the psalmists words in Psalms 119:127 (KJV) “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.” In a worldly way, some people feel that gold (precious metals/jewels) is the most valuable thing on earth. I am guessing the psalmist chose to make the comparison to gold, because of the worldly thinking that if you have gold you are rich and have something valuable. The comparison doesn’t stop there. No. The psalmist wants to stress his point, so he compares his feelings for the commandments with not only gold, but also the purest and highest quality gold.
With this comparison, we know that the psalmist holds God’s commandments near and dear to his heart. They are worth more to him than even the finest gold. The psalmist seeks the heavenly way of life instead of the worldly way of life. He treasures God’s commands, God’s will, and God’s Word instead of gold and other worldly riches. Psalm 119 is full of reasons why the psalmist holds the commandments with such high regard. How do you rank God’s commandments in the list of things that you cherish and love?
Psalm 119 in general, but also Psalms 119:127 specifically shows us the importance God’s Word and God’s commandments and how much we should cherish them. If we take this a bit deeper, Psalms 119:127 gives us a great reason to read our Bible. It is difficult to know God’s Word, God’s will, and God’s commandments if we don’t read the Bible.
Thank you for your Word! Help us to cherish it, seek it, and abide by it above any earthly treasure. Help us to love your Word and your commandments more than the finest gold. Help us to love you and to seek your will and your Word above all else. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 119:127 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 119:127 mean to me?
*Do I cherish God’s Word and commandments as much as the psalmist does?
*How do I show where I rank God’s commandments in my life?
*Do I know all that God commands and expects of me or wants for me?
*Do I read the Bible?
*How can I know God’s commands, if I don’t read the Bible?
*How can I better live and appreciate the words in Psalms 119:127?
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“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV)
How are you? Before I get to today’s passage, I would like to kind of ponder the scene during the Sermon on the Mount for a bit and the words relayed to us by Matthew, especially during the beginning. What do you imagine the Sermon on the Mount looking like?
Obviously we weren’t there and don’t really know the look and feel of the Sermon on the Mount. However, I kind of imagine that Jesus was sitting on a rock or outcropping of some sort. His closest friends and followers were sitting next to Him. These closest friends and followers probably came to the Sermon on the Mount with Jesus. Then, a crowd of people from the general public probably sat out from there. People in the crowd were probably made up of various groups of people. Some may have heard about Jesus and wanted to hear Him speak. Others may have been there in hopes of being healed. Others may have been there to “spy” in order to go back to the Pharisees and gossip about what Jesus said. We don’t know.
Yet, when Jesus spoke the words in Matthew 5:3-10, I believe He was probably speaking rather loudly, so the crowd could hear Him. (I don’t think they had a public announcement system back in the day, especially one that could be used on a mountain. I do wonder if Jesus was speaking through a horn or something to help His voice carry or if supernaturally He made it so everyone could hear Him.)
Although, when Jesus got to the words in Matthew 5:11-12, I can sort of imagine Him leaning in with a tender loving look on His face and telling his closest followers, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (KJV) Or, maybe He was speaking to the whole crowd, but wanted to reinforce the fact that they would be persecuted if they followed Him, yet they are in good company because the prophets were persecuted. They weren’t alone. Maybe Jesus wanted to reinforce the fact that they will be rewarded in heaven for following Him.
When I think of verses such as Matthew 5:11-12, I think of the persecution of the early church and people like Saul who were persecuting the Christians as we read about in Acts 8:3 (KJV), “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” I can’t imagine being persecuted in that way or to the point of death. Can you imagine someone coming into your home and forcing you to jail, not because you did something wrong, but because of your belief in God and in Jesus being the Son of God, the Christ and your Savior?
I look at the strength of those who have gone before us who did in fact endure all kinds of evil and persecution for following Jesus, even to the point of death, but didn’t sway in their belief. I pray that I can have that sort of endurance, faith, and belief, under any level of evil and persecution.
The most difficult part of this passage for us to understand and live out may be the beginning of Matthew 5:12 (KJV), “Rejoice: and be exceeding glad…”. We, as humans, don’t usually enjoy or feel glad about being persecuted. We don’t enjoy being picked on, abused, talked about, put down, shunned, ignored, or neglected for any reason. We don’t like being hurt in anyway. This way of thinking doesn’t come naturally to the human way of doing things.
So, how and why can we think about rejoicing when we are persecuted as followers of Jesus? Well, I would say the first reason why to do it, would be because our Lord and Savior told us to do it. Trusting in God and praying for help in being able to rejoice will be the answer in how we can do it.
I noticed that in Matthew 5:12, the prophets are mentioned, whereas they are not mentioned in Matthew 5:10 in almost the same sentiment. Is it because Jesus wanted to relate this important sentiment in a way that they would understand and in the way that would mean something special in the eyes of His very human followers. I can imagine that the Jewish people of the New Testament read the Old Testament and admired the words of the prophets and the fact that they saw those words coming true throughout their history. I can imagine they may have grouped the prophets in a group of godly people. Jesus may be using this thought to show that those who are persecuted for following Him, will join the prophets in the group of godly people. They will be in the heavenly group and not the worldly group. Even more importantly, we will be in God’s family.
It is definitely a joyful thought and worth rejoicing in knowing that you are part of God’s family and will be greatly rewarded. God’s Word has many verses encouraging us and reminding us that no matter what sort of hardship, hurt, persecution, and even death we may go through in our earthly lives, it doesn’t compare to the reward we will get in heaven as His followers. (This is one of the reasons we read the Bible, so we can know these verses and remember them in time of need.)
Thank you for your Word and your encouragement. Thank you for sending Jesus to us to teach us and to show us the way to you. Help us to stay strong throughout all the evil, hardship, and persecution we endure especially in following your Son, Jesus. Help us to follow His example, and endure no matter what, so that we can join you in heaven as well. I ask you this in His Holy name, Amen.
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Reflective questions for Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 5:11-12 mean to me?
*What is the difference between these verses and Matthew 5:10?
*What was it like for the prophets and people in biblical times to be
persecuted for righteousness’ sake?
*Was I persecuted for righteousness’ sake?
*If I was persecuted, when and how? How did it feel? How did I deal with
*Does it help to know that the prophets were also persecuted?
*Do I rejoice during times of persecution?
*What can I do to better live according to the words in Matthew 5:11-12?
If you enjoy this post, you may want to read the posts in The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations.
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 1
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 2
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 3
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 4
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 5
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 6
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 7
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 8
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful you are here and would enjoy reading your thoughts, ideas, comments, and suggestions. Let me know in the comments below or feel free to contact me. If you are finding value, please feel free to share the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations with family and friends. You may also want to share it with your pastor and church family. Thank you so much for your kindness and support. If you haven't already done so, please feel free to sign up below to receive the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Thank you.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.