Talks for Growing Christians
Peter is Rebuked for being a Stumbling Block
Lesson Number 43
- The Lord revealed His death and resurrection to the disciples.
- The Lord offered the way of the cross to His disciples.
- Watch out for worldly advice.
- When Christ gave Peter the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” was He giving him the power to save people?
- Review the concept of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew.
- Keys are used to open something. How did Peter use his keys to open the kingdom of heaven?
- Why did the Lord command His disciples to tell no one that He was the Christ (Matthew 16:20)?
- How does the Lord’s message begin to shift in this chapter?
- Explain Matthew 16:28.
- No, only God has the power to forgive sins. He has not delegated this authority to any human priesthood.
- The kingdom of heaven was the literal, political, earthly kingdom offered to the Jews by their Messiah. John the Baptist and the Lord proclaimed this kingdom to be at hand. But when the Jews rejected the King and His offer of the kingdom they were set aside. Now God’s plan of salvation was extended to include the Gentiles as the gospel of grace went out to all people.
- After the Jews rejected the kingdom, Peter had the privilege of announcing the open door on the day of Pentecost, when the Church began. He again had the privilege of opening the kingdom of heaven to the Gentiles in Acts 10 when he brought the gospel to Cornelius, a Gentile.
- Because He desired followers with true faith, not a popular vote to be made king.
- Previously He had been proclaiming the kingdom of heaven. Now that the kingdom had been rejected, He began speaking of His coming suffering, death, and resurrection.
- This verse belongs with chapter 17. At the Mount of Transfiguration, the disciples were given a glimpse of the Lord’s coming kingdom.
- In hindsight the disciples seem so foolish! Here the Lord tells them explicitly about His coming death and resurrection, yet when He died they still did not understand. Put yourself in their situation; would you have understood the Lord’s prediction? The Lord is teaching us things today, yet often we are just as blind as the disciples.
- The way of the cross means death. Death to self. Refer to Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Discuss the wonderful irony of the way of the cross. If you die to living for yourself and begin living for Christ, you find how to truly live. In the way of the cross there is true joy, abundant life, and eternal reward. On the other hand, living your life according to the way of the world will not only leave you unsatisfied now, you will lose your opportunity to use your life for the Lord.
- Peter’s thinking was the way of the world, not the way of the cross. This way of thinking was offensive to the Lord. What about your mindset? Is your thinking in line with Christ’s priorities, or is it being dictated by the world? Remember Matthew 16:26, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
- “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Matthew 16:21
- “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25