What Must Be
“‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘The Christ of God.’ Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.‘” (Luke 9:20-22).
It must have been a moment of extreme wonder and extreme bewilderment. Jesus had taken his disciples to a remote spot far to the north of Galilee, out into Gentile territory, and there he asked them if they understood who he was. Peter got it. Perhaps he was the first, or perhaps he was the only one to see it–their rabbi whom they had left their homes to follow was actually the Messiah of God, the one wrapped in prophecy and mystery. “You are the Christ,” (anointed one, Messiah) Peter said.
But then, just as quickly, Jesus told them that he would be killed. It would happen not at the hand of someone deranged, and not by the Romans, but by the spiritual leaders of the land. They would reject him, and they would kill him. This did not add up. Messiah was to be the great ruler, the ultimate king, the deliverer. He was supposed to be victor, not victim.
Peter and the rest could not at this time see the plan of God for the ages. They had no inside information on what had been arranged between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They could not see millions of people in the twenty-first century bowing before the Lord Christ, thanking him for making them clean.
Ponder This: What do you think your reaction would have been if you had been one of Jesus’ followers and had heard these words?