Reflection on Matthew 16:21-27




Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”


Jesus begins to talk seriously about His suffering and crucifixion. Peter takes Him aside and says, “This must not happen to you Lord.” But Jesus responds with, “Get behind me Satan!”

Jesus then tells the disciples that in order to follow Him, they must take up their own cross and die to themselves. To seek to save our own life is to lose it, but to lose our life for His sake is to gain life.


Peter thought he had it all worked out. Jesus was the Messiah, and He would usher in a new kingdom of prosperity in Israel. When Jesus started talking about being crucified, Peter was appalled and started to rebuke Jesus.

Peter could not see that God’s plan was different and far greater than he could imagine. He was seeing from man’s perspective rather than God’s.

We find it hard to break out of our mental strongholds to see our life from God’s perspective. We are surrounded by a culture that is focused on the here and now and which often denies God’s purpose completely.

The thought of dying to ourselves to follow God is nice in theory. In practice we want one foot in the Kingdom and the other in the world. Like Peter, we are always hoping that Jesus will avoid the cross this time.

I need to learn to die to my plans and ambitions, my dreams and visions. Instead I need to follow Jesus day by day, step by step. I need to do this without trying to impose my agenda on Him.

Being totally subservient to the Lord’s plans is a tough walk in an age of self-promotion. This is the path we are called to walk.


Lord please show me the parts of my life that are filled with the plans of men rather than the plans of God. Give me grace to walk in your ways. Amen.

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