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8 September, 2013 15:09

September 8, 2013

OUCH!

Never before had Jesus spoken with such cutting and seemingly cruel words. What caused him to unleash such a rebuke as this? The disciples were familiar with Jesus berating the Pharisees for their hypocrisy; calling them blind leaders of the blind, or worse, whitewashed tombs full of decaying flesh. On one occasion they even heard Him telling the Pharisees that prostitutes and harlots would make it into the Kingdom before they would.

But this outburst was different. It wasn’t leveled at one of the religious leaders but at one of His own. What provoked such a verbal whipping? What had Peter done to deserve the name Satan. After all, Peter was just expressing his loving concern for his Master. Jesus, you recall, had told Peter that He was about to go through a time of suffering and then face death. Peter was concerned as he drew Jesus aside and rebuked Him for thinking that way. Most of us would have reacted the same way. Who wants to see their friend suffer, and then die?

Jesus’ response was immediate and clear. “Get behind Me, Satan!” Ouch! That really hurts, especially coming from the mouth of the Lord Himself. Peter must have been stunned, saddened, and sickened as his Master referred to him as Satan! Why Satan?

Jesus explained that Peter’s reasoning was not in accord with God’s purposes, but man’s. Jesus knew that any way that was contrary to His way was the way of Satan. Jesus went on to challenge His disciples to deny themselves. Only in losing their lives, He said, would they find true meaning to life.

In musing over this incident, I’m reminded of what God said to His people of old. “Your ways are not My ways, neither are your thoughts My thoughts…” How many times do we, like Peter, view things from our own carnal perspective, and thereby align ourselves with the Prince of Darkness and His worldly wisdom. We oppose the ways of God. What happens when we deliberately choose to retaliate rather than turn the other cheek, withhold forgiveness, and do not release the ones who wronged us? We hear the Lord say, “There they go again, they have chosen Satan’s way and not mine.”

I’m sure Peter’s heart was wounded for days as he brooded over what Jesus said to him. I too would far rather take the path of least resistance. Dying to self is never easy. Perhaps that is the reason so few find real ‘life’. I’m convinced that Peter learned a valuable lesson that day. In reality Jesus was doing Peter a great service. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 9, 2013 4:41 am

    “He is your best friend who will tell you the most truth”

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