Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Close this search box.

Trying to correct Jesus' "negative thinking"

April 6, 2023

Daily Scripture

Matthew 16:16-26, John 13:3-15

Matthew 16

13 Now when Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Human One [or Son of Man] is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 He said, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?”16 Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Then Jesus replied, “Happy are you, Simon son of Jonah, because no human has shown this to you. Rather my Father who is in heaven has shown you. 18 I tell you that you are Peter [Peter means rock]. And I’ll build my church on this rock. The gates of the underworld won’t be able to stand against it. 19 I’ll give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Anything you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. Anything you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered the disciples not to tell anybody that he was the Christ.
21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and legal experts, and that he had to be killed and raised on the third day. 22 Then Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him: “God forbid, Lord! This won’t happen to you.” 23 But he turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are a stone that could make me stumble, for you are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 25 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will find them. 26 Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? What will people give in exchange for their lives?


John 13

3 Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was returning to God. 4 So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. 6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.”
8 “No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”
9 Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!”
10 Jesus responded, “Those who have bathed need only to have their feet washed, because they are completely clean. You disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 He knew who would betray him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you is clean.”
12 After he washed the disciples’ feet, he put on his robes and returned to his place at the table. He said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am. 14 If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

The disciples’ answer to Jesus’ question (“Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the other prophets”) was no insult. Those were great, respected names. But Jesus’ disciples struggled when he spoke of dying and rising again, or when he took a slave’s role washing their feet. “In this period [Jewish people] did not normally expect the Messiah to be martyred…. Jesus’ disciples expected to follow him to the kingdom—not to martyrdom.” *

  • Scholar N. T. Wright showed why Peter tried to correct Jesus. “The way to this kingdom is by the exact opposite road to the one the disciples–and especially Peter–have in mind…. Jesus will indeed confront the rulers and authorities, the chief priests and legal experts, in Jerusalem; but they, not he, will appear to win the battle. He will then be raised from the dead, so Jesus says; but neither Peter nor the others can figure out for the moment what he might mean by this.” ** If you had been there, how puzzling would Jesus’ words have been to you?
  • Peter, like almost all first-century Jews, expected a conquering Messiah, a figure of intimidating power. That made it hard for him to grasp Jesus’ teaching about his self-sacrificing mission. What assumptions about life, success and greatness do you have that make it harder for you to accept Jesus’ teaching about a truly great human life? What has helped you move beyond those inherited assumptions?

Lord Jesus, transform me so that I see life as you do. Give me the inner strength to follow and trust you, so that I can pray, with Julian of Norwich, “All shall be well…and all manner of thing shall be well.” Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Ginny Howell

Ginny Howell

Ginny Howell serves as the Worship Experience Director for Resurrection, leading the church’s efforts to provide radical hospitality and an excellent worship experience across all of our locations. She’s a mom to three, g-momma to one sweet little boy, and shares much of her time with her closest companion, a rescued Pit Bull named Lola.

I met one of my absolute bestest of friends when I was about 20 years old. I worked as a gymnastics coach at a gym that happened to also have a rock-climbing wall and Kelly came in to climb rocks with friends her senior year of high school. We ran in the same crowd for much of our early adult years and she even went on to marry one of my roommates. When she was in college, I offered her a job while she was working through school and our lives have been uniquely connected as long as we’ve known each other. She is the closest thing I have to a sister and has been the greatest supporter and cheerleader of my own children since the day they arrived.

Kelly doesn’t identify as a Christian, but she is one of the most spiritual people I know. She’s a student of all religions and moves through life demonstrating a beautiful combination of practices that show reverence for the divine and sacred in all people and things. While I would take my girls to Sunday school when they were little, Kelly would venture out to “dirt church” with her boys.

Kelly always had a goal of teaching yoga in prisons. Several years ago she began volunteering her time teaching yoga in correctional facilities. She described how rewarding, challenging, stressful and beautiful she found this type of service to others. She never felt like she was giving a gift to someone else with her teaching, but instead offered herself fully to be in relationship and community with those our society often ignores.

When she was in town a couple of years ago, we were getting together for lunch and I thought she and Pastor Darryl Burton would really like to meet each other. I didn’t have any agenda. I just knew they’d both be interested in hearing each other’s story. (If you don’t know Pastor Burton, he was exonerated after spending more than 25 years in prison for a crime he had nothing to do with. You can hear more about his story from a sermon here)

I was really a spectator at this lunch and enjoyed sitting back and seeing the two of them talk about life and faith and community and the impact of incarceration. I was moved to tears more than once listening to the ways God works in and through both of my precious friends.

After she left and before I went back to work, I stopped by The Well bookstore and picked out a card to send her in the mail (one value we also share is high regard for a thoughtful, hand-written note). I found a card with a Ghandi quote on the front that said, ‘In a gentle way, you shake the world.’ I still remember exactly what I wrote, and today’s Scripture brought that to mind as I read of Jesus washing feet and demonstrating for the disciples how they should treat each other. “You are one of the most Christ-like people I know…..” was how my card to my friend started. Her love for others, her humility and generosity are exactly what Jesus was talking about when he said in John 13:15…just as I have done, you must also do.

She called me in tears after she read her card and understood the compliment I had shared. Kelly’s way of living in the world is a great catalyst for me as a Christian. Am I, a Christ-follower, demonstrating the same way of living and loving others that I see so beautifully lived out before me in that of my dearest friend?

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Location 226630, 226642). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
** Wright, N. T., Matthew for Everyone, Part 2 (p. 9). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.