Faith Daily | 5 August 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p568
whose beloved Son for our sake
willingly endured the agony and shame of the cross:
give us courage and patience
to take up our cross daily and follow him;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 16: 13-23
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ 14And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ 15He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ 16Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah,* the Son of the living God.’ 17And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter,* and on this rock* I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ 20Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was* the Messiah.*
21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.’ 23But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Cheryl Courtice
Confronting Jesus at this time was one pressing and demanding problem that would not go away. His time was short; his days were numbered. Was there anyone who understood him? Who recognised him for who and what he is? Who would carry on his work after he departed this earth? Even with just a few, his work would be safe.
“But who do you say I am?”
He chooses a background of the world’s religions in all their history and their splendour, to demand that he be compared with them and to have the verdict given in his favour. There are few scenes where Jesus’ consciousness of his own divinity shines out with a more dazzling light.
“You are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
When Peter makes his great discovery and his great confession, Jesus knew that his work was safe because there was at least someone who understood.
This passage teaches that our discovery of Jesus Christ must be a personal discovery, often against an impressive background of temptations. It is not enough to know about Jesus, it’s about knowing Jesus. Jesus Christ demands a personal verdict.
Once we recognise Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God we have to learn what that means. It means that we have to follow him all the way to the cross. There is no escape.
Satan is any force which seeks to deflect us from the way of God; Satan is any influence which seeks to make us turn back from the hard way that God has set before us; Satan is any power which seeks to make human desires take the place of the divine imperative.
“Get behind me, Satan!”
So help me God. Amen.
FINAL PRAYER: Cheryl Courtice
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of his knowledge in every place.”
2 Corinthians 2:14
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."