Daniel Fast 2023

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Message Text

Matthew 16:13-24

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Message Notes

1. It’s always personal

A relationship with God is always a personal one. God wants you to experience Him yourself.

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

2. When more is revealed, more sacrifice is required.

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

3. When we get close we still try to be in charge.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

We don’t pull Jesus aside because we want to advance the Gospel we pull him aside because it looks like it’s going to get difficult.

Pick up your cross to follow him.

Connect Group Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever believed what someone else said about God without investigating it for yourself?
  2. Is it an encouragement that God wants you to experience Him in a personal way?
  3. Respond to this statement, “The closer you get to God the clearer the cross is.”
  4. Why do we always hesitate to imitate when things get difficult?
  5. When do you see God’s faithfulness the clearest?