Sometimes I struggle to understand God’s word and this particular scripture plagued me for many years. However, after reading Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship” a light went off for me. Bonhoeffer reminds us that the operative word here is “must.” Christ said he must do all these things and for Peter to suggest otherwise is to deny Christ of his purpose and identity, hence the reference to Peter by Christ “Get behind me Satan.” To not allow Christ to fulfill his work is the work of Satan.
Often we as Christians fail to let Christ be Christ. Instead of trusting in him for salvation we would like to help him out a little and trust in our own works. This can never suffice as only Christ can set us free.
Bonhoeffer also reminds us that the operative “must” falls on disciples. Jesus says of his disciples, “Let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” A far cry from the self absorbed Christianity so popular today. Denying oneself is most difficult and a cross only leads to death. Yes, must is the operative word.
Prayer: Father, help us to be as steadfast in our must do task as Christ. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Carlin Ours, Pastor of Organ Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC.