BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 17, Day 5: Matthew 16:21-28

Summary of passage:  Now Jesus is revealing to his disciples the reason for his being:  that he will die in Jerusalem and suffer for others.  Peter was in denial and told Jesus such.  Jesus rebuked Peter, calling him Satan and a stumbling block to his purpose here on earth.

Jesus tells his disciples that those who come after him must take up their cross and follow him.  People must lose their life in order to save it.  Jesus will reward each person according to what he has done.  Some will not die before the Son of Man comes again.

Questions:

10a)  Peter tells Jesus that he won’t go to the cross and die for our salvation.

b)  Probably for the same reason we don’t want our loved ones to die:  it’s too painful both for Peter who lose his friend and the pain of a crucifixion death that was well-known in ancient times was immense and Peter probably can’t imagine Jesus dying so.

[One commentary I read said Peter did this because he was prideful and having just heard from God about who Jesus truly was in 16:16 that he also thought God was telling him to this as well when it was in fact the devil.  I took the more simplistic, human approach in this one.  I don’t want any of my family to die.  And Jesus was Peter’s family.]

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  When sin tempts us, we are all tempted to ignore what Christ did for us.  For me, any sin which is frequent in my life.  However, I have sympathy here for Peter for he knew Jesus in a way we never can.  He walked beside Jesus.  I can imagine he had other motivations for not wanting Jesus to die like we all do for our relatives.

d)  Satan

11a)  To have all of your sins forgiven and to receive the Holy Spirit.  When Christ was crucified he took our sins upon himself and made us righteous and healed us.

b)  He says that “whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

c)  “Lose your life” means you die to sin.  You have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus.  “Take up your cross and follow” Him means the same thing.  You lay down your life (your wants, desires, and sins), surrender yourself to him, to do God’s desires in life.

d)  They will find new life (gain eternal life as well) and be rewarded in heaven for it.

e)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I try to follow God’s will for my life and listen to Him and do His calling and not my own.

12)  This simply means that some people will be alive when Jesus comes again and never have to experience the penalty of death that came about through our sins.

Another interpretation of this is that you will experience glimpses of God’s power and glory as you lead a Christian, new life.  It’s not all about death.

Conclusions:  Anyone else think Question 11 was a repeat?  In fact, it is.  We answered this question on Lesson 11, Day 5 except the question read “how” instead of “explain what” this means. BSF Notes also tell us exactly what this means in Lesson 11 Notes.  I didn’t think the reference passages were all that helpful either in understanding the meaning.

If you have these notes, I would suggest re-reading them here.  I can’t legally quote anything in the notes but the explanation they give is very, very good.

Hopefully, with repetition, we all understand this now:  that Jesus wants us and all of us to follow him in our lives.  To put him first.  To die to our will and live for him.  Period.

End Notes:  So often we focus on Jesus’s death as for our sins.  But the positive way of putting this is how great is God’s love for us.  God loved us so much He sent his son to die for us.  How many of us parents would do the same thing–to allow our sons to die for strangers?  I wouldn’t. Thus, we must remember the cross is the ultimate sign of God’s love for us despite the tragedy that we had to lose Christ to gain him.

We see Peter’s pride at work as he tries to tell Jesus he is wrong.  Peter is to follow as a disciple, not lead. This is important to remember as in our daily lives we may be thinking we are working for God when the devil sneaks in and we’re not.  In Peter’s case, he focused on “the things of men” instead of on God.  This is a hard one to know when we as humans are just so dumb when compared to God.