Using a Four-Letter Word

Jesus began to shock His disciples with a four-letter word.  They hadn’t heard Him use it before, but once Peter declared he knew Jesus was the Son of God and the Christ, then Jesus began to startle them and offend them with that word.  Look for it:

” 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, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” (Matthew 16:21)

Talking about the word, “must.”  Jesus demonstrated a perfect life, one that is only possible with a perfect connection with The Sovereign God.  By that connection Jesus performed many signs and miracles. He said His words were the words of God, because, as He said it, “The Father lives in Me” (John 14:9-10).  But one of the most amazing manifestations of that connection with God was that Jesus knew the “must” for His life.  He knew what God had decreed must happen.  He knew it and He surrendered to it.

“Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”” (Matthew 16:22-23)

When Peter understood Jesus’ identity, Jesus said he was blessed, because God had revealed it to him (See: Better Proof).  But when he failed to understand what Jesus must go through, by the decree of God, substituting his own ideas and desires, Jesus turned on him!  

What is your “must?”  Don’t know?  Me neither.   But God does.  As we surrender to Him, there may be times when He shows us what we “must” do.  But even when He does not, the benefit and power of living in readiness to accept God’s “must” for our lives is taught throughout Scripture.

David wrote:

“Lord, you have assigned me my portion (how God provides for him) and my cup (how God asks him to suffer) …” (Psalm 16:5a – with my explanations)

James said:

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)

Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done.”  In other words, “Lord, I acknowledge that the “must” You have assigned for my life is good, and I submit.”  

Must – a shocking, tough, four-letter word that we “must” learn to use more…



Quotes: The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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