Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fresh Look at Matthew: Matthew 16:21


I think I could title this blog post, “You Don’t Get to Contradict Jesus.”  I mean, it is a bit much on Peter’s part to have just said Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God, therefore authoritative, and then say, “You don’t know what you are talking about, Jesus!” 

Was Satan really telling Peter to say that?  Probably.  Let’s remember that the end of the account of the temptation in chapter 4 says Satan left for a more opportune time to tempt Jesus away from the mission.  Satan was not trying to get Jesus to do something naughty; Satan was trying to prevent the cross.  Stupid, yes, but that was the point.  And now Jesus makes it clear that is what is going to happen, so someone close to him, someone who seems to believe in him, tries to pull that mission down. 

Still, Jesus saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” seems intemperate to our oversensitive modern ears, which is the crux of the problem.  Our oversensitive world view.  Everybody must be nice at all times, at all costs. 

 This rebuke is followed by a reality check.  “It’s not going to be a picnic.  This is not bait and switch.  Following me is possibly like getting ready for an execution.”  For many Christians in the world, that is the reality.

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