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Humble Hero

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    The Disciples Had Not Envisioned a Cross to Come

    The disciples still expected Christ to reign as an earthly prince. They believed that He would not always remain unknown and that the time was near when He would establish His kingdom. The disciples had never entertained the thought that Christ would be rejected by His own nation, condemned as a deceiver, and crucified as a criminal. Jesus must alert His disciples to the conflict before them. He was sad as He anticipated the ordeal to come.HH 191.7

    Until then, He had held back from telling them anything about His sufferings and death. In His conversation with Nicodemus, He had said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:14, 15. But the disciples did not hear this. Now the time had come for Him to pull back the veil that hid the future. “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 be raised again the third day.”HH 192.1

    The disciples listened, speechless with grief and amazement. Christ had accepted Peter’s acknowledgment of Him as the Son of God, and now His words pointing to His suffering and death seemed incomprehensible. Peter could not keep silent. He took hold of his Master, as if to draw Him back from His approaching doom: “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”HH 192.2

    Peter loved his Lord, but Jesus did not praise him for the desire to shield Him from suffering. Peter’s words were not a help and comfort to Jesus in the great test ahead of Him. They were not in harmony with God’s plan of grace toward a lost world nor with the lesson of self-sacrifice that Jesus had come to teach by His own example. The impression Peter’s words would make was directly opposed to the one that Christ wanted to make on the minds of His followers, and the Savior was moved to speak one of the sternest rebukes that ever fell from His lips: “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”HH 192.3

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