Daily Thought for: 17th September


Matthew 16. 13-28; 17. 1-8

Peter was an energetic follower of the Lord Jesus, although at times rather undisciplined, resulting in enthusiasm or despair. Assembled at Caesarea Philippi with the twelve the Lord was concerned to know what the world, and especially the disciples, actually thought of Him, ‘Whom say ye that I am?’ He still wants to know our thoughts about Himself, even today. After some hesitation Peter confesses with conviction, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God’. This had been divinely revealed to him and the Lord blesses him for his clear witness—the first man since Simeon to publicly recognize the Son of God. 

Continuing from this confession the Lord adds, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church’. Peter’s place in that church was as a stone in the building. The rock was the confession he had just made. The wonderful promise is that nothing can prevail against the church, not even the gates of hell. To Peter the Lord gives the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, which he later uses to open the door to both Jews and Gentiles. Peter then, and the assembly now, is given authority to bind and loose. When one is loosed he is received into fellowship, and when bound is put away. 

Now follows a sad event. The Lord announces He must go to Jerusalem ‘and be killed’. Peter will have none of it. He elects to stand between the Lord and the cross, unaware that if there is no cross there will be no crown. The Lord deals with him severely; the cross is vital. ‘Get thee behind me Satan’ is the message, similar to when He said to the devil, ‘Get thee hence’. 

Yet, with James and John, Peter is allowed to witness the transfiguration—an appreciation of Christ in glory. The Lord’s face shone; His clothes glistened; Moses and Elias appeared; the bright cloud arrived (all in the darkness of the night), and the voice of God was heard. Peter, unsurprisingly, wanted to prolong the experience, and perhaps to avoid the cross? 

We, like Peter, have our own highs and lows, but we are consistently loved by the Lord who, according to circumstances, will praise, rebuke and guide us, and give glimpses of glory to reassure. 


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