Sometimes, it seems, we think that God is too big to deal with our paltry little problems. In thinking that way, though, we make God out to be quite a bit smaller than he really is. We want to define God, just like Peter did. We want him to be our Messiah, but the Messiah of our own desires. Peter couldn’t conceive of a Messiah who would have to suffer. We can’t conceive of a Messiah who wouldn’t do everything we ever asked him to, who wouldn’t make our life deliriously happy, who wouldn’t make all our problems go away. Or else we think our Messiah is too busy to even be concerned with our lives. Either way, we are selling our Messiah way short.
Jesus says our Messiah “must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days.” He will walk through the pain with us, and sometimes that pain will go away, sometimes it won’t, but the pain will never be ignored. Our God is not too big to note our suffering, and is never too big to walk through it with us. But he’s not small enough to be our genie in a bottle, waving the magic wand to make us do what he wants.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor, the Psalmist tells us today: “When the poor one called out, the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him.” Our Messiah is a God who hears our cry, and knows our suffering. We are never alone in our need.