Today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 16 picks up right after Jesus had just proclaimed Peter as the rock and given him the keys to the Kingdom. Peter then rebukes Jesus for talking about His impending suffering and death. Jesus then says to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
Ouch! That’s gonna leave a mark, huh? Satan? Just moments before, Jesus handed Peter the keys to the Kingdom. Now he gets hit with the Satan card? Jesus said this because Peter was getting in the way of God’s will being fulfilled.
So, here’s what really bugs me about this incident…if every time I get in the way of God and mess up His will I got a “Satan,” well…I may just as well go ahead and get my name legally changed right now! Gus “Satan” Lloyd. Has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? But that’s not the way Jesus operates. (Thank you, Lord!) I’m sure that Peter, as I do, spent most of the time thinking not as God does, but as human beings do. It’s what we do, right? Jesus gets it. That little “Satan” thing was just a reminder that we need to listen to God, not the captain of the other team.
Father, we’re sorry for those many, many times when we, too, think as human beings. Help us to be more attentive to your voice today. Amen.