“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Mark 8:29-33 NIV

Jesus asks his disciples, “‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ,’” Mark 8:29b. In Greek, “Christ” means anointed one, in Hebrew it is “Messiah.” This is the first time in the book of Mark a person, a follower of Jesus, declares Jesus is Messiah. In Mark 8:31-38, Jesus spends time defining the anointed one’s role according to God’s perspective. Jesus tells his followers clearly that he will suffer, be rejected, killed and rise again. Peter was not ready for a suffering Messiah; he expected a conquering king – so Peter rebuked Jesus because he had the wrong expectations. Jesus then rebuked Peter and said, “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men,” Mark 8:33b.

Perspective, it changes everything. In the early years of our son Joshua’s life, our expectations of what our family would be like were shattered. Life became complicated, difficult, tiring and confusing. God did make it clear to us that he had a purpose for Joshua, as a disabled child. As Joshua got older, our perspective changed and we could see how his life, his attitude, his joy, and our love for him impacted other people and changed them, helping them to glimpse God’s unconditional love for everyone. We were given a godly perspective for Joshua’s life.

In Job’s time everyone’s expectations were, if one obeyed God, then blessings would follow and if a person had difficulties it was a consequence for sin. But Job was a righteous man, and his wealth, his children, and his health were taken away from him for no apparent reason. Job asked why, but God’s answer was, “God is God, and Job was not.” God addressed Job, and revealed to him God’s eternal perspective.

Read this poem by Corrie Ten Boom and reflect on God’s perspective in the weaving of your life.

My life is but a weaving,
between my God and me.
I do not choose the colors,
He worketh steadily.
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow,
and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
and I the underside.
Not till the loom is silent,
and the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas,
and explain the reason why.
The dark threads were as needful,
in the skillful weaver’s hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
in the pattern He has planned.

By Grace Hunter