May 20

Text: Matthew 16:21-23

From that time Jesus Christ 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. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You." 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." (NASB)

Because you know something unusual does not mean you know everything.  Nor does it mean you understand the facts you know.

We humans tend to be arrogant, especially about what we know.  Even if we control what we say, most of us do not hesitate to think, “If you are determined to be wrong, you can be as wrong as you wish.”

Peter had confessed that Jesus was the Christ (or Messiah).  If he thought in agreement with common expectation, he thought the Christ would restore the nation of Israel to prominence.  Then Jesus began predicting his death and resurrection.  Peter was so confident he knew “what was supposed to happen” that he privately rebuked Jesus.  He said, “No!  That is not how being Christ works!  That will not happen!  Besides, do you not understand what you are saying will discourage your followers?”

Jesus said to Peter, “Your rebuke serves Satan’s interests, not God’s!  You are the bait stick in Satan’s trap designed to capture me and destroy God’s purpose through me.  Your thinking does not target God’s purposes, but human desires!”

The same man knew Jesus was the Christ one minute and was Satan’s avenue of temptation to Jesus the next!  Peter did not understand the meaning of the facts he knew.  The irony: Peter NEVER knew he was helping Satan.  He continually thought he was helping God!  That is scary!  Good intensions do not guarantee correct conclusions.

Suggestion for reflection: When does Satan use your good intentions?  (Read 1 Kings 19:1-18.)

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