Getting Behind Jesus
February 17, 2017
I can only imagine that Peter meant well in rebuking Jesus. After professing Jesus to be the Christ or anointed one, Peter must have been shocked to hear Jesus talking about rejection, suffering and being killed. That wasn’t what was supposed to happen to the Messiah…was it? That couldn’t happen to his Lord and friend…could it? Well, yes.
Jesus used the strongest possible language to issue his own rebuke of Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” The Hebrew satan means “an adversary” or “one who resists,” and it has commonly been used to refer to the devil. It may not be pleasant to consider, but as sinners any of us can be a “satan”—not necessarily the devil incarnate but rather those whose minds and wills are not in tune with God’s and who act accordingly. Like Peter, we can even think that what we want or expect is what’s good or even required in a situation. Like Peter in this gospel passage, we can also be mistaken.
When that happens, like Peter we must also get behind Jesus and through discernment and in humility and obedience, seek to conform our minds, words and deeds to his. Whether due to hostility or indifference, he already has enough adversaries in the world.—JC