Matthew 16:22

Have Mercy On Thee, Lord! This shall never be unto thee - Matthew 16:22

Throughout His life these words were perpetually flung at the heart of Christ. Spare Thyself this hunger, the devil said in the wilderness, on the threshold of His public ministry.; spare Thyself this agonizing death, he said again in the garden, on the eve of the crucifixion.

It is noticeable that the cross was surrounded by voices that repeated the same words. They that passed by it wagged their heads, and said "Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days, save Thyself." the chief priests mocked Him, with the scribes and elders, and said, "Can He not save Himself?" The soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him, offering Him vinegar, and saying, "If Thou art the King of the Jews, save Thyself." And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, "Art not Thou the Christ? save Thyself and us." All these voices spoke after the methods of human wisdom.

This made our Lord turn so quickly on Peter, saying, "Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto Me." How often are the same words addressed to us: "Pity thyself. Have mercy on your sensitive human nature; do not be too lavish with your money; give yourself a little more license." But it cannot be. You cannot save others and yourself as well. Those that would follow Jesus in His steps of redemptive help to mankind must deny themselves, take up the cross, and follow Him into rejection, shame, spitting, and the grave. They who have mercy on themselves will never show much to others, or receive much; but the merciful are blessed, because they obtain mercy. Thus mercy is "twice blessed; it blesses him that gives, and him that takes."