21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Dear God, Jesus’ reaction in verse 23 reveals a little of the strain that He must have been under. There must have been a part of Him that said, “You know, Peter has a point here. This shouldn’t happen to me,” because He responds to Peter as if this is a temptation. Then He goes on to say that it is suffering that lays ahead for all of them. He tells them that following Him means denying themselves.
Frankly, it is a relief to know that Jesus faced temptations. It is nice to know that there were things that He dreaded and had to will Himself to do. Sure, He was facing much more horrible rejection, pain, and suffering than I ever will, but it is still nice to know that part of His humanity was a temptation to take the easier path.
Father, help me to be willing to take the uneasy path. Help me to turn loose of my own wants and desires and embrace you and everything you need from me. My life is worth so much to you, and yet my comfort is worth so much less than I think it should be. So help me to feel your rich love for me and accept whatever path you have for me with joy and peace.