"No such thing shall ever happen to you." (Matthew 16:22)
Can we all agree that Peter is the most relatable Apostle? In the passage before, he is saying that Jesus is the Son of the living God, and then in just a few sentences HE thinks he can tell JESUS how things are going to go.
When I've read this passage before, I've seen Peter as a sympathetic friend who simply didn't want Jesus to die. But this time I saw that Jesus says that He will be raised, so I wonder, why is Peter upset? Both potential reasons are not great. Either he didn't believe that Jesus would rise from the dead, or he did but disagreed with how Jesus was handling His role as the Christ.
We can't fault Peter for not comprehending the bigger picture. Unlike us he lacked the gift of hindsight. We know not only that Jesus emerged victorious but that His triumph surpassed anything humans could imagine. But we've all been where Peter is here. God lays out His plan, and we find ourselves saying, "But have you considered doing it this way?"
I often see God as a master author, and the best stories are the ones where the ending feels inevitable. Not because there were no other outcomes, but because no other ending would have been as satisfying. Recalling times in my life when I felt like a character stuck in a confusing chapter, I resonated with Peter's words: "God, forbid, Lord!" It's challenging to balance the desire to avoid unnecessary suffering with the understanding that we must willingly bear our crosses.
As we nurture our relationship with God, trust becomes key if we're ever to experience the glory His path promises. There might be times when God rebukes us, pointing out that our limited perception is hindering our trust. Jesus needed Peter to understand that His way was the best way, even if he couldn't grasp it at that moment. Trust is a tricky thing, especially when it comes to people, who can disappoint us. However, with God, we can rest in the fact that He will never betray us, and we can rely on His promises, even when we have no clear vision of how it will unfold.
By Niki Wilkes