Mark 8:31-32 “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.”
Just moments prior, Peter confessed that Jesus was the Son of God.
Now, Peter is rebuked by Jesus for expressing his opinion that Jesus shouldn’t die but live to restore the kingdom the way they envisioned. Jesus responded:
Mark 8:33 “But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”
To think that Peter’s response was satanic feels a bit much, does it not?
Yet, we need to look into why Jesus rebuked him so sharply to truly grasp the weight of what Jesus was saying.
Because our vision into eternal things is so limited, we do not always understand why God would do such a thing or allow certain situations and circumstances to go on without any intervention on His part.
We think, “If I were God, I would have done this or that, or at the very least had done something!”
Therein lies the root of the problem – “If I were God…”
To take up such a thought puts us in league with our enemy. This situation is as old as man. Satan came to Eve to tempt her with these words:
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
To ponder, think, or meditate on such matters is not wrong in and of itself. But, when we do not include or purposefully exclude God in our thought process, we open ourselves to the influence of our enemy.
God’s Word must be our sole source for truth in such matters. In consulting with God, we are saying we value truth enough to go to the source.
Lucifer was the covering angel to the throne of God. He saw God in all His magnificence, beauty, and holiness. He saw the worship and praise He received. He created the music and led others to sing to God.
Yet, there arose in his heart; greed, covetousness, and pride.
Isaiah 14:12-15 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
We find more in Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 28:12-15 “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
We, as children of the most High God, have a privileged position.
We are adopted, made to sit in heavenly places.
We have direct access to the throne room to bring our petitions before a holy God.
Every sin we have or will ever commit has been forgiven and forgotten.
Peter was bold and impetuous. Often, he operated by the creed, “Ready, fire, aim!” which got him into trouble.
So, what can we learn from Peter?
His confession that Jesus was the Son of God came from a revelation the Father gave him.
Matthew 16:17 “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
If we would but acknowledge where our wisdom came from, it may help redirect our attention to where the source of truth is in our lives and humble us.
Just because we’ve known the truth for a long time does not give us the liberty to claim the credit for thinking it up ourselves. Paul helps us understand our position.
Romans 7:18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”
When we begin to think too highly of ourselves, we must choose the path of humility to return to God the praise He so rightly deserves.
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
We would do well to remind ourselves daily just where the blessings come from.
Psalm 68:19 “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.”