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Savouring The Things Of God (Matthew [16]21-23)

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Savouring the Things of God

Text: Matthew 16:21-23

Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)

Date Preached - (03/23/03)


ILLUS: Children on long trip asking “are we there yet?” – Or fighting/arguing with each other on shorter trip – dangerously distracting the driver who merely wants to get from point A to point B.

They are absolutely amazed when Dad finally out of pure frustration pulls the vehicle off the road and stops to “DISCUSS” the situation.

What’s the problem?  The children have an entirely different agenda than Dad, they have a different desire.

ILLUS: Many are protesting war today.  Possibly and probably for many different reasons.  Some are self-serving!!

These folk enjoy the freedoms and benefits of living in America but they are on a different route than the leadership.  They have a different agenda.

APPLICATION: The worst scenario is one of people –including Christians – who have a different agenda than God.

“.........for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”  Matt 16:23

Isaiah 55:8-9  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

That was PETER’s ERROR!

What led him to that place of error? How did he get there?  What was wrong with his thinking?

How is this instructive for us?  We will come to these thoughts in a few moments, but first of all....

REVIEW of Matthew 16:13-23

1. Christ’s PERSON Declared vs.13-17

A Divinely Inspired Confession

2. Christ’s PROGRAM Declared vs.18-19

A Divinely Equipped Church

3. Christ’s PASSION Declared vs.21-23

A Divinely Embraced Crucifixion

This is why He came into the World!!

Hebrews 10:7  Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

Matthew 26:39  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

*NOTE – In verse 21 Christ says this MUST take place...

REASONS for the necessity of Christ’s Suffering.

1. Proof of Christ’s Sacrificial Love

2. Purchase of God’s Satisfaction

3. Procurement of our Salvation

Outstanding Features of this Passage

I. The Components of the Gospel vs.21

They’re all here!!

This is what Jesus did for you and me!!

This is the Gospel!!

LOOK UP & READ I Corinthians 15:3-4

He would be subjected to shame, ridicule, treachery and unmentionable suffering.

Crucifixion was the most cruel death – prolonged suffering.

Roman method of execution reserved for her enemies.

Christ would be our substitute.

PRAISE GOD! He would not stay in that tomb, but was raised the third day.

I don’t think Peter heard this last part of verse 21.

II. The Two Rebukes vs.22-23

A. Peter’s Rebuke of the Lord vs.22

B. The Lord’s Rebuke of Satan vs.23

Peter had been satanically influenced.

III. Peter’s Error

Notice how he quickly embraces and advances the person of Christ (Vs.15-16), then just as quickly stands in the way of His fulfillment of the Divine will.

Peter goes from being a rock to a stone of stumbling (Offence).

What are some aspects of Peter’s error that are instructive for us?

A. Based on common misunderstanding of the day.

Christ had yet to correct their misapprehension of the proper character of the Messiah.

He had not come as a temporal, triumphant Prince, but as a suffering Saviour!!

The cross was still not in the thinking of Peter and the others.

After the feeding of the 5,000...

John 6:15  ¶When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Even after the resurrection the disciples were still envisioning the immediacy of Christ’s reign.

Acts 1:6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

B. He was used by Satan to stand in the Lord’s way.

Peter’s argument is similar to Satan’s temptation of Christ in Matthew 4:8-10. LOOK UP & READ

Thoughts that are offended by the cross are inspired and influenced by Satan.

Here we find (IN THE CROSS) Salvation – Sanctification – Surrender.

No wonder it is the focal point of Satan’s attack.

Peter was later transformed in his thinking....

1 Peter 2:2424Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Satan will influence and appeal to our deceitful hearts.

2 Timothy 2:26  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The Point of Attack for the believer is where?

Again, it has to do with the cross.

We ask “Who says you have to deny yourself?”.

We want the crown without the cross.

C. It demonstrates the natural leanings of the heart. Vs.23

for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

The TRUTH is we don’t even need Satan’s influence to think unbiblically.

Jeremiah 17:99The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

What we are faced with in life is the choice between true worship and idolatry.

A choice presented by Christ in vs. 24 through chapter’s end.

He presented to the disciples two approaches to life in the following verses:


deny yourself live for yourself
take up your cross ignore the cross
follow Christ follow the world
lose your life for His sake save your life for your own sake
forsake the world gain the world
keep your soul lose your soul
share His reward and glory lose His reward and glory

Conclusion:     (Review)

ILLUS: CHRIST’S Chosen Path – Cross before Crown / Trial before Triumph / Suffering before Salvation

HYMN: The Way of the Cross Leads Home

I must needs go Home by the way of the cross,

There’s no other way but this;

I shall ne’er get sight of the Gates of Light,

If the way of the cross I miss.


The way of the cross leads Home,

The way of the cross leads Home;

It is sweet to know as I onward go,

The way of the cross leads Home.

I must needs go on in the blood-sprinkled way,

The path that the Saviour trod,

If I ever climb to the heights sublime,

Where the soul is at Home with God.

Then I bid farewell to the way of the world,

To walk in it never more;

For my Lord says, “Come,” and I seek my Home,

Where He waits at the open door.

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