Pastor Chris Doi
Japanese Christian Church
Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God’s
In Matthew 16:23, we wonder why Jesus responded very harshly 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.”
We have to understand that Jesus had just explained to His disciples that He had to go to Jerusalem where suffering and death awaited Him. His disciples understood that He would not be the Messiah who would free them from the tyranny of Rome. Yet His death would have meaning and purpose as three days later He would be resurrected.
It must have pained Peter to hear Jesus’ words, and a part of him did not want to accept it. Peter felt that he was only protecting Jesus by telling Him that this would never happen. By saying this, Peter did not realize that he was acting as an agent of Satan. He was impeding Jesus’ mission, just as Satan tried to do this earlier to Jesus in the wilderness. In a sense, Peter was actually trying to discourage Jesus from doing His Father’s will. That is why Jesus had to harshly put Peter in his place for being a stumbling block and not setting his mind on God’s will for Jesus to die on behalf of our sins.
In the same way, every follower of Christ must be willing to take up his/her cross and follow the Lord Jesus. We must always be on the watch for Satan sneaking in and trying to derail us from taking the right path of obedience. Since we are covered by the blood of the Lamb, let us rebuke Satan with courage and boldness, “Get behind me, Satan!”
Prayer: Father, empower us to always follow your will each day. Amen