Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jesus Warned Us: Don't Guide or Advice Him, Just Follow Him

But Peter took [Jesus] aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things, ‘Heaven forbid, Lord,’ he said. ‘This will never happen to you!’ Jesus turned to Peter and said, ‘Get away from me, Satan! You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s’
(Matthew 16:22-23, NLT).

Right after confessed his heartfelt belief in Jesus as “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (16:16) and having been given great authority in the Kingdom of Heaven (16:18-19), Peter was shaken to hear Jesus predict these terrible events. He must have wondered what Jesus’ death would mean for the disciples, specifically for him. So Peter began to “reprimand” or rebuke Jesus. The word translated “reprimand” is a strong term meaning that Peter was, in fact, rejecting Jesus’ interpretation of the Messiah as a suffering figure. He was against Jesus’ plan. He disagreed. Peter, in effect, was trying to talk Jesus out of going to the Cross. But if Jesus hadn’t suffered and died, Peter would have died in his sins. And do all of us.

Shortly before this interaction, Jesus had told Peter, “You are blessed, Simon son of John” (16:17). But at this point Jesus told him, “Get away from me, Satan!” What happened? Peter had quickly turned from God’s perspective to evaluating the situation from a “human point of view.” (Jesus doesn’t mean, Peter = Satan). In the process, Peter was either being used by Satan or using one of Satan’s tactics in trying to protect his beloved Master or both. Notice this: Peter and other disciples were motivated by love and admiration for Jesus, nevertheless, their job was not to guide or advice and protect him but to follow him. Unknowingly, the disciples were trying to prevent Jesus from going to the Cross and fulfilling his grand mission. Only after Jesus’ death and resurrection would they understand why he had to die.

Think about this: When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness (see Matthew 4), he tried to get him to look at his life and the world from a human point of view. But Jesus dismissed Satan’s plan by the Word of God. Jesus remain in God’s perspective. Why endure a cross when you can have an earthly crown? But God’s perspective changes everything. Way more important than any earthly fame, fortune, relationships, or power is doing what God wants. This life is but a prelude to eternal life with Him. Amen.


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