MATTHEW 16.21-28 | Jesus describes His death to the disciples in a more complete way then He ever has before and they are shocked. It isn’t just that they don’t want Him to suffer, but their entire understanding of His kingship is based on His authoritative rule. Their hope is built on His power. Jesus rebukes Peter because his reaction is short-sighted and based on what he will lose. Jesus then prepares them for a shift; He makes it clear that to take on Christ is to rethink what success is. If you want to be known for what you have done on this earth, it is not going to go well for you. If you want to be known as a follower of Jesus, it means you must set aside your identity. You must sacrifice your desire. You must see the world in a new way. Jesus came, not only to usher in the Kingdom, but to change the measure of what power is.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16.24-25
1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. Why is Jesus so offended by Peter’s concern?
3. Jesus makes a distinction between those who save their life and those who lose it. What does it mean to save your life? What does it mean to lose it?
4. Read John 12:24-26. How does the life we give up produce new life?
5. What parts of yourself have you given up in order to follow Christ? What part of your life is the most difficult to deny?