Watchman: Daily Devotional, Peter Had Just Been Commended for His Perception of the Revelation of God That Jesus Is the Messiah. Then Peter Became an Instrument of Satan

Daily Devotional:

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Matthew 16:21-23 (NIV) 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!" 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

According to a study of Jesus' historical biography, this turning point occurred just before the transfiguration. Three of the disciples would witness Jesus' glory. Their eyes would corroborate what their hearts had been thinking. Yet, they had an earthly kingdom attitude. Jesus had to prepare people for the shock of watching Him suffer at the hands of religious leaders, be executed, and then rise from the dead.

Peter had just been praised for his understanding of God's revelation that Jesus is the Messiah. And Peter became a tool of Satan. How did he go so swiftly from one extreme to the other? He returned to thinking about men's concerns. When we have a heavenly attitude, guided by the Holy Spirit, we do not prioritize the ways and preferences of mankind. We endeavor to understand God's ways and preferences. When that involves suffering and loss, there is a strong desire to return to man's ways. Peter admired Jesus. His affection, though, was a brotherly type of love, and he knew it. It was not God's love that made you prioritize others before yourself.

We frequently resort to minding men's things. It is our primitive nature. We believe it is safer, but if we could see through God's eyes, we would realize it is folly. It all comes down to vanity. It is God's ways, Christ's mind, that bring fruit that lasts. May the Lord assist us to look beyond the present anguish, filling our brains with His thoughts, so that we might see the ultimate good He brings about through our suffering and loss in this life. Peter did not cling to His insight that Jesus was the Messiah for long, but God is not finished with him. The story continues with several crash landings and recoveries, but it concludes with God completing the work He began in him.

Ponder this: Do not despair, fellow foreigner. He will complete His work in you as well!


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