Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Matthew 16:21-23


21 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 up on the third day.22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ``God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.'' 23 But He turned and said to Peter, ``Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God 's interests, but man's.''

Immediately after giving the right answer-the confession about Jesus that when a follower expresses, it becomes the foundation for the church that Jesus is building, Peter is now in a most vulnerable position. Just as soon as he had been on top of the spiritual mountain, the devil shows up to use him to trip up Jesus' plan.

We have to assume that calling Peter, Satan, was not a slip of the tongue. Jesus recognized the plan of Satan being acted out by Peter. The plan? To do everything possible to stop Jesus from going to the cross to die and rise from the dead in victory over all things. Once Jesus announces His plan to suffer, be killed and rise up again, Peter takes control of the situation. Satan was actually using Peter's actions to thwart the work of God.

NOTE Jesus scolds Peter for setting his mind on man's interests rather than God's. Peter was doing things his way for God. And who is the driving force behind this? The devil himself. WHEN JESUS MAKES IT CLEAR THAT HE MUST DO CERTAIN THINGS IN A CERTAIN WAY, YOU MUST NOT ALTER HIS PLAN. And when you do, you're playing into the hands of the evil one and ignoring the best way of doing things--Jesus' way!