“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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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.