In this Sunday’s scriptures, the prophet Jeremiah speaks of the incurable wound of his suffering yet finds in God’s words the delight of his heart. When Peter doesn’t grasp Jesus’ words about suffering, Jesus tells the disciples they will find their lives in losing them. Such sacrificial love is described by Paul when he urges us to associate with the lowly and not repay evil with evil. In worship we gather as a community that we might offer ourselves for the sake of our suffering world.
As we heard last week, Peter may be the “rock” on which Christ will build the church (Matt. 16:18), but this week, when Jesus reveals the suffering that will come first, Peter the “Rock” becomes a “stumbling block.” Assuming God must have a different way to save the world, Peter protests Jesus’ suffering and death. Jesus explains to Peter and all his disciples that, in fact, this is the way to true life—losing one’s life in order to find it.
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