Peter’s Declarations October 9-13
Near the end of their three years together, Jesus asked His men, “Who do people say that I am?” After they shared the crowd’s views, Jesus asked His disciples the same question. Peter quickly declared that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus affirms Peter’s correct response and states that He will build His church upon the rock (Peter) and nothing will destroy it. But shortly after that declaration, Peter encourages Jesus to pursue the crown without the cross. Jesus rebukes Peter with strong words, “Get behind Me, Satan!” Jesus then speaks to the disciples about what will be expected of them, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me.” Truths with which we need to come to terms.
Day 1 Matthew 16:13-20
Reflect: What is the significance of Peter’s phrase, “living God,” in declaring who Jesus is? How do vs.17-19 celebrate the truth Peter just announced? How do you understand v.18?
Apply: Who is Jesus to you? What words would you use to describe Him and your relationship with Him? How have you helped others understand who Jesus is?
Pray: Father, I too declare with Simon Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” May my life be a testimony to the truth that Christ alone has the words of eternal life.
Day 2 Matthew 16:21-23
Reflect: What was the basis and the heart behind Peter’s rebuke to Jesus? What are the differences between “God’s thoughts” and “human thoughts” in v. 23?
Apply: When have you misunderstood something about Jesus or something He said? What do you learn from Jesus’ reply to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan”?
Pray: “God, I confess that I want to be a follower of Jesus, but do not always want to follow Him. I can be eager to put down my cross to cling tightly to my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and understanding to live a life worthy and pleasing to You.
Day 3 John 6:53-69
Reflect: In what way does Jesus’ blood give eternal life? Why didn’t Jesus speak more plainly so His listeners could understand? According to v.68, what makes Jesus unique?
Apply: Like the disciples (vs. 67-69), when have you, or someone close to you, had an encounter with Jesus? When have you felt that following Jesus was too hard? What changed?
Pray: Jesus, when Your truth conflicts with my built-up perceptions, help me be willing to listen to Your voice and to trust Your Word. You alone have the words of eternal life.
Day 4 Matthew 16:24-28
Reflect: What do you learn about Jesus from this text? About our relationship with Him? About the kind of faith and character He requires?
Apply: What about this text brings you comfort? What makes you squirm a bit? After reflecting on v.24, where are you on your walk with Christ? What more do you need to surrender?
Pray: Lord, of all the competing voices vying for my time and attention, You alone have shown sacrificial love to redeem me. As I seek to surrender to Your will, empower me to live with courage and conviction in a world that often hates and ridicules You.
Day 5 Colossians 2:6-10
Reflect: According to this text, what causes us to get off track in our walk with Christ? Why? What sorts of beliefs or forces today, typically lead people away from Christ?
Apply: When were you led astray for a time? How did you get back to Christ? How are you a flawed, but faithful, disciple of Jesus Christ? What keeps you rooted in Christ?
Pray: Jesus. keep me from being influenced by the enticing arguments and philosophies that inevitably look for answers to life. May I learn to listen to the leading of Your Holy Spirit and walk in truth, realizing that without You, there is no meaning in life.
Put It Into Practice!
Week 3: Peter’s Declarations
Spend time putting words to who Jesus is to you, and ask Him to show you who needs to hear it.