by Kenneth C. Kroohs

Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost
Kenneth C. Kroohs
Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 28:1-8; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:21-27
August 29, 1999

Why God? Why in the world God did you do that!?! God, why in the world did you allow that to happen? Allow that pain, that nastiness, that evil to continue? How could you be so mean? How could you hurt so many people? Sometimes God, I have to wonder if you have any idea what you are doing!

Why have the suffering and pain? And I don't just mean Jesus' suffering and pain. Remember Mary's pain and Martha's. Remember the pain expressed by the disciples on the road to Emmaus. This crucifixion caused many people to be in pain.

God, you made the bad guys into the winners! Why give those people the power and the authority to rule? Why make the Romans look good to those people? You certainly don't help us when you allowed the bad people to win!

Why God? Why can't you do things correctly?

That could have been our opening prayer for today. Have you ever even thought such things? No? Maybe then, you are not qualified to be Jesus' disciple. Now, that puts an interesting twist on things doesn't it? Jesus told Peter that he was the foundation upon which the church would be built. The first thing Peter does is tell Jesus how to run the world!! And yet, it does seem that Peter raised a valid issue. Why go through all that pain? Why shouldn't God just change everything with the proverbial snap of the fingers? Why not take the easy way out?

I think we mistreat Peter when we ridicule his concern. We see him as a pathetic, bumbling fool who just could not understand what was going on. Peter asked: "Why Jesus? Why go to Jerusalem? There must be an easier way!" And we ask, "Why God? There must be an easier way!" When we ridicule Peter, we ridicule ourselves. When we consider Peter's concerns unimportant, we consider our concerns unimportant. Fortunately, Jesus did not.

Peter is not trying to sabotage Jesus, ...

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