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.”- Matthew 16: 21-23
7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.”- John 13:7
For the last few weeks, I have been obsessed with a DVD that my husband gave me a few months ago called “The Passion: Live in New Orleans”. When I say obsessed, I mean I am currently watching it, as I have every morning for the last two weeks, (Not sorry, Brian) and this particular verse was acted out in a modern way. (The scene I’m watching right now is with Chris Daughtry as Judas……and man….you need to get this DVD). Anyway, Jesus is telling his disciples that a time is coming when He will be crucified…..but that three days later, He will be resurrected back to life.
As usual, Peter has to make his feelings known about the situation and he is in no mood to be told that his best friend will be taken from him.
I know that feeling.
One of my best friends and his wife have lived in Colorado for the last year or so……and I have not liked it…….no, not one bit. We have lived in the same state our ENTIRE lives. We were there for each other for every birthday or other big event that goes on in our lives. Were……my stomach hurts writing that.
I have tried EVERYTHING I know to say and do to get these crazy people back to Texas where they belong. Ryan (my best friend), gently, but firmly says essentially the same thing every time: “Shelley, this is where God wants us; I know you don’t like it, but we are being obedient to God.”
I hate goodbyes. I wonder if Peter hated goodbyes as well.
It doesn’t help that Jesus told the disciples that He would be crucified. That was the way that criminals were put to death in those days. But this wasn’t a criminal…..this was Jesus, this was Peter’s best friend and mentor…..and he wasn’t having this news one bit.
Peter responds to Jesus’s prediction the same way that I responded to my best friend almost a year ago about Colorado: Nope, not gonna happen, I will not let this happen to you.
Jesus has an interesting response to this outburst. He tells Satan to get behind Him. Why is this interesting? Well, did you notice that Jesus rebukes Satan for what was said and not Peter? Sometimes following God’s will is not easy, or fun, or desirable……or anything that we think is good.
Jesus knows that Peter belongs to Him. Jesus knows that even though Peter is a disciple, Satan will still get into Peter’s head from time to time and Peter is going to forget that God is in charge and that His will is always perfect. Jesus knows that Satan is roaming the earth and looking for anyone to devour (1st Peter 5:8). He knows who this resistance is really coming from. Satan wants no part of Jesus going to the Cross. We know that this is the way to an eternal relationship with God the Father. The cross is how Satan is ultimately defeated.
Praise God for the Cross.
Did you notice something else about Peter’s response? He concentrated more on the 1st part than the second part. He concentrated on the pain and suffering and not the glorious victory that will take place 3 days later when Jesus walks out of that borrowed tomb. Isn’t it just like us that we concentrate on the stuff that we don’t like about a certain situation? Isn’t it just like us that we refuse to hear the full story and because of that we don’t allow ourselves to see and understand the pain and suffering and uncertainty of what we are going through? Isn’t it just like us to not see the very hand of God in every single step of our lives the minute that something doesn’t go the exact way we want it to?
I wonder if Peter would have had a different response to the prediction of Jesus’s death if he had heard of the victory over death that only Jesus can have victory over.
If we move three books over to John 13, we find the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. Pride gets in the way of Peter (called Simon Peter in this passage). We know where pride comes from don’t we?
Peter decides that Jesus shouldn’t wash his feet or anybody else’s feet for that matter because Jesus was the master, not the servant. Jesus tells Peter that he may not know what he is doing (that goes for the rest of us) but someday, he will understand (again, that goes for the rest of us).
Take some time this week to really look at your situations in life that you do not understand and allow God’s perfect will to be done. Trust me, it will be a much better idea than anything we come up with on our own.
Don’t forget that He loves you and so do I,
Published by Shelley Olsen