Pastor Matthew’s reflections on the 2nd Sunday in Lent:
Today in the Gospel text in Mark we reach a watershed moment. Jesus' ministry has been very hush, hush up to now. It seems every time there is a healing, a feeding, a miracle, an exorcism, Jesus tells His disciples "shhhh, don't tell anybody" Then we arrive here, midway through Mark (almost exactly) and a pivotal / crucial question is asked, "who do you say that I am?"
Peter hits a home run, "You are the Messiah" and then...we get the sense in Mark that it must only be five or ten paces later, Peter fouls out miserably. From the rock upon which Jesus will build His Church, Peter becomes Satan in under ten paces...and why? Because Peter didn't understand the question, because Peter couldn't see the Messiah Jesus really is, for the Messiah that Peter needed or wanted Jesus to be.
How often have we pulled a Peter? How often have we failed to see that Jesus didn't come to make all of our dreams come true but rather that Jesus came to redeem the creation by way of love and sacrifice and death, all things that the world does not understand.
Peter was expecting a Messiah that would lead the Hebrew people to a sweeping military victory over Rome, I am pretty sure Judas expected the same and ultimately betrayed Jesus because he thought Jesus was "failing" in delivering on that expectation.
What Messiah are you expecting?
Who do you say that He is?
The honest answers to those questions will tell us more about ourselves as followers of Jesus than they will about Jesus for sure and if they don't lead to a place of willingness to take up our cross and follow, then for sure, like Peter, we have some work to do to find new answers.