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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bible Study - verse by verse # 47

Matthew 16:22 Peter, Jesus' friend and devoted follower who had just eloquently proclaimed Jesus' true identity, sought to protect Him from the suffering He prophesied. But if Jesus hadn't suffered and died, Peter (and we) would have died in his sins. Great temptations can come from those who love us and seek to protect us. Be cautious of advice from a friend who says, "Surely God doesn't want you to face this." Often our most difficult temptations come from those who are only trying to protect us from discomfort.

Matthew 16:23 In His wilderness temptations, Jesus  heard the message that He could achieve greatness without dying (4:6). Here He heard the same message from Peter. Peter had just recognized Jesus as Messiah; here, however, he forsook God's perspective and evaluated the situation from a human one. satan is always trying to get us to leave God out of the picture. Jesus rebuked Peter for this attitude.

Matthew 16:24 When Jesus used this picture of His followers taking up their crosses to follow Him, the disciples knew what He meant. Crucifixion was a common Roman method of execution and condemned criminals had to carry their crosses through the street to the execution site. Following Jesus, therefore, meant a true commitment, the risk of death, and no turning back.

Matthew 16:26 When we don't know Christ, we make choices as though this life was all we have. In reality, this life is just the introduction to eternity. How we live this brief span, however, determines our eternal state. What we accumulate on earth has no value in purchasing eternal life. Even the highest social or civic honors cannot earn us entrance into heaven. Evaluate all that happens from an eternal perspective, and you will find your values and decisions changing.

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