In Matthew 16:16 Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ. Immediately Jesus predicted his death and resurrection. Peter reacted—he said, “That will never happen!” Jesus then declared that Satan was working through Peter by Peter reflecting his interest—not God’s.
This was a curious chain of events! First, God works through Peter. Then immediately Satan works through Peter. How could that be?
It was wonderful for God to confirm through Peter that Jesus was the Christ. However it was not wonderful for Jesus to say that truth meant his death. Peter said, “No—that is not the way it will happen!” Jesus being the Christ meant one thing to Peter and another to God. Peter loved the fact that God was keeping his promise—he just wanted to tell God how to do it! Peter’s way for Jesus to be the Messiah did not involve Jesus dying. God’s intent was quite different! Thankfully, God’s intent prevailed! Peter wanted a Jewish king—God wanted a universal Savior!
How often do we love the fact that God keeps His promise, but we want to be in charge of telling God how to keep it. We love the fact that God promises to use us, but we want to tell Him how to use us. We love the fact that God promises to provide us the strength to serve, we just want to tell him how and where we should serve. We love the fact that everyone has a place in His body—we just want to tell Him which body part we wish to be. We love the fact that all things work out for good to those that love the Lord—we just want to tell God our definition of good. We love the fact that “God has us covered” (Romans 8:31-39), we just want to tell Him how to make us feel covered.
Is not Christian faith the conviction that Satan can do his worst, and God is still there in our weaknesses ministering, providing, showing His love and caring? The God who did not abandon Jesus to death will not abandon us—no matter how we struggle or how dark it gets!
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