September 3 – Following Christ

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September 3 – Following Christ

If you’ve ever had an unpleasant but somewhat amusing practical joke played on you, then you have some understanding of how Jeremiah feels today when he tells God “good one—you duped me.” We can almost see him shaking his head with a bit of a rueful smile, but an angry undertone in his voice. In similar fashion, Peter thinks Jesus is “duping” him when Jesus starts to explain that being Messiah means suffering and dying, and being a follower of the Messiah means taking up a cross and doing the same. Jeremiah tries to deny God’s will for him by trying to shut up; Peter—who has just been made the foundation of the church—out and out denies the teaching of Jesus, for which he is named “Satan” today. Fortunately for us, Jeremiah comes to realize that to have the word of God placed in your heart means that it will be futile to try and keep silent, even if it means scorn and derision from those around you. Luckily Peter ultimately returned to the faith he professed in last week’s Gospel, and came to understand our need as baptized followers of Christ to follow in his way, even when it means following him to our very death.

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