Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Lent Devotional April 3, 2014

Scripture

Mark 8:27-9:1

27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" 28 And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." 29 He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah." 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

1 And he said to them, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power."

Devotional

Here it is. Peter makes his confession of faith, which he doesn’t seem to fully understand. That’s such a great feature of Peter. His faith isn’t dependent on full understanding. Peter follows Jesus, learns from him, and grows in his understanding, but his faith isn’t a product of perfect wisdom. It doesn’t result from his intellectual pursuit; his faith fuels it. His faith spurs his intellectual pursuit to greater heightsand he will make mistakes. It’s just a few verses later that Jesus calls Peter “Satan.” But imperfect as he is, Peter continues to strive, to grow, and to learn.

After this confession, Jesus tells the disciples what we, as readers, already know. He explains quite clearly that he will be killed, but that the story won’t end there.

Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.