In Matthew’s account of the story Matt. 16.17, Jesus gave Peter a blessing…”Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man but by my Father in Heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church….”
Jesus could look into the future. He knew what was in store very soon, and in the time to come. Peter would indeed be instrumental, but more importantly this confession of faith — this rock solid confession would be the necessary foundation for belief — the foundation of belief for everyone who would come to faith.
Yes, YES! Peter was definitely on the mark….at the starting block, ready to go. The race ahead would not be easy. Jesus told them what to expect — he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Whoa, Jesus! Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him. “Never Lord! This shall never happen to you!”
Just when we thought Peter was ready…Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me. You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Jesus knew their ideas — to make him King, to drive out the Romans — those were men’s ideas!
Then Jesus told them…”If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life, will lose it. But whoever loses his life for me and for the Gospel will save it.”
Yes, Peter was on the mark — the starting block...and just beginning. Peter immediately made an error; Jesus corrected him so Peter could continue the race. Here, Peter, is the track ahead: Deny yourself! Take up your cross. Follow me. Use your life for the gospel. Never be ashamed of me and my words. Share the gospel wherever you go and save your soul.