Jesus Foretells His Own Death: Matthew 16
2023/11/08

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In a passage found in the Book of Matthew, Jesus makes a prophetic prediction about his impending death. Jesus gathered his disciples and asked them who people believed him to be. The disciples mentioned various opinions, including some who thought he was John the Baptist or one of the prophets. However, when Jesus asked directly whom they believed him to be, Peter stepped forward and declared that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

Peter's acknowledgment pleased Jesus, who replied that this revelation came from God and not from human knowledge. Jesus then bestowed a significant responsibility on Peter, saying that he would be the rock upon which Jesus would build his church.

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Furthermore, Jesus promised that Peter would be given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, granting him the power to bind or loose things on earth and in heaven.

After this exchange, Jesus revealed something unexpected to his disciples. He began to explain that he must go to Jerusalem, suffer greatly at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and ultimately be killed. Peter, who had just been praised by Jesus, was taken aback by this sorrowful prophecy and began to contradict him, insisting that such a fate should never befall him.

Jesus sternly rebuked Peter, saying he was acting as a stumbling block and not understanding God's plan.

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To emphasize his point, Jesus told Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."

Jesus then addressed the crowd along with his disciples, revealing that anyone who wished to follow him must first deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow him. He explained that whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but those who lose their life for his sake will find it. Jesus emphasized that gaining the whole world would be worthless if one were to forfeit their soul.

In conclusion, Jesus predicts his forthcoming suffering, death, and resurrection to his disciples following Peter's declaration that Jesus is the Messiah.

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Despite Peter's attempt to dissuade Jesus from such a fate, Jesus rebukes him and provides a broader message to the crowd about the necessity of self-denial and taking up one's cross to follow him. The main idea of this passage is Jesus' foreknowledge of his sacrificial death and the call for his followers to prioritize heavenly values over worldly gains.

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