A stolen moment away from the clamoring crowds.
A pointed question from the Master, “Who do you say I am?”
And Peter nails it.
You are the Christ of God.
Now don’t tell anyone that.
And, by the way, here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to suffer. And die. And be raised back to life.
You must deny yourself. Take up your cross. Follow me.
Putting myself in Peter’s shoes, I want to jump into this conversation, again and again, with a yes, but.
Yes, but Jesus, if we know who you are, why shouldn’t we tell our friends?
Yes, but isn’t there another way? Is all that suffering really necessary?
Yes, but I’ve built a good life for myself here. And when you say take up my cross you’re talking hypothetically, right?!?
Deny yourself. Take up your cross. Follow me.
Back in my own shoes, the yes, buts tumble out quickly too.
Yes, but I want a guarantee. I want to know what I’m getting into. I want to know how this will end.
Yes, but judgment and condemnation come easy. Love is hard.
Yes, but I’ve done everything right. That has to count for something.
Here’s the thing.
When I say yes, but, I really mean no.
And no is not denying. No is not following.
This week, I am praying for the courage and faith to deny myself. To follow Jesus.
To say yes.
And to leave it at that.