"What Are You Setting Your Mind On?"- Matthew 16:21-28

“What Are You Setting Your Mind on?”

Matthew 16:21-28


Core Belief: Eternity- I believe there is a heaven and a hell and that Jesus Christ is returning to judge the earth and to establish His eternal kingdom.

John 14:1-6:“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “

Scripture: Matthew 16:21-28 21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

The Message of this Passage: The church is built on the redemptive work of Jesus. The Church is not a cultural, ethnic, political, or moralistic association, but a fellowship of the redeemed a community of the committed. Jesus followed the announcement that He will build His church, with the prediction of His death at Jerusalem and of His Resurrection. This is the first time He has shared this, so you can imagine the shock it had on the disciples. Matthew says emphatically  “From that time on Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (v. 21).  Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked Him. For Peter this prediction didn’t fit his understanding of Christ. How could God permit such a thing to happen? I am sure that Peter meant well with what he was saying, but those words, caused Jesus to rebuke Peter with the same words that He used when He rebuked Satan in the wilderness. Saying, “Get behind me, for you are an offense,” a rock out of place! Peter was now a stumbling block rather than a rock. Before we once again jump on Peter’s case, there is a lesson for us, for Peter’s words were from human reasoning and not from God.

Jesus calls His disciples to be suffering servants among men. The lifestyle of the covenant community, the church, is to be connected with Christ in His suffering. The disciple is called to be a servant, to bear the identity of the cross in living for Christ and His kingdom.

Discipleship, in relationship to behavior, means saying no to the sinful ego; it means being prepared to suffer in the company of Christ; it means giving up selfish ambition and, in so doing, finding one’s true self in the fellowship of Christ (vv. 24–25)

Rather than to say, “He is happiest who possesses most,” Jesus teaches that “He is happiest who is himself possessed by Christ.”

Answering Interpretive Questions:

  • Was Peter wrong for not wanting Jesus to die?

  • When you think about something you are afraid of, how does it control your thoughts and actions?

  • Why did Peter apparently miss Jesus’ prophecy about His resurrection?

  • What does Peter’s rebuke of Jesus reveal about his relationship with Jesus?

  • How was Peter being a stumbling block?

  • What does it mean to deny yourself and take up your cross? You cannot earn your salvation, so why is following Jesus a necessary part of salvation?

  • Why will life apart from God ultimately end up in vanity? What does Jesus mean that those who lose their life for His sake will save find it?

  • What is the difference between denying self and self-denial?

  • Why is this kind of self-denial necessary? (Ro 8:6-8)

  • What is your reaction to the cost of discipleship?

For more Bible passages about living for God, see Matthew 4:18–21; 5:14–16; Luke 12:13–21; 12:29–33; John 12:25, 26; 13:5–17.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter” MLK

Grant SchweisthalMatthew