Blessed… Get Behind Me!

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and legal experts, and that he had to be killed and raised on the third day. Then Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him: “God forbid, Lord! This won’t happen to you.” But he turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are a stone that could make me stumble, for you are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts” (Matthew 16:21-23, Common English Bible).

It was just a few days ago that we saw Jesus seemingly call a woman a dog (Matthew 15:21-28). It might seem, when we read the lesson for today as a surface reading, that Jesus is at it again, this time calling Peter, Satan. Yeah, the way I see it, if Jesus is actually name calling, Peter is getting a lousy shake compared to the Canaanite woman.

More than 20 years ago, I had the opportunity to see “The Promise,” a Passion Play type performance in Glen Rose Texas. The play tells the story of Jesus’ life. I loved the way they portrayed this story. Jesus was looking in Peter’s direction, but seeing past him and speaking to another character in the play, Satan.

I love that idea. As I have thought on this passage, I can’t help but think that Jesus was not calling Peter Satan. That being said, whenever there are things that fall short of the glory of God, there is a pretty good chance that evil is hanging out in the neighborhood. And, to carry it a step further, if we are who is performing the evil, there is a real good chance that evil is hanging out in us.

I don’t think Jesus was calling Peter evil, he was calling Peter’s idea evil. Peter was trying to keep Jesus from fulfilling His destiny because it wasn’t the thing Peter wanted to happen to his friend.

Isn’t it interesting that in the passage we just finished yesterday Peter knows Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, but Peter doesn’t realize what being Messiah actually means.

When we read this passage, we often give Peter a hard time. We might even say, indigently, Peter is evil because of what he says. He, after all, is trying to prevent Jesus from living out his call. If we are honest with ourselves, we would probably be right there with Peter, we wouldn’t want Jesus to die such a horrible death either. After all, we would never want something so horrible to happen to someone we love.

Sometimes I think I might hear Jesus say, at least in my direction, “Get behind me Satan!” It’s something I don’t think is aimed at me. Instead, I think it just might be the evil that all too often is inside me.

How do you hear Jesus saying, “Get behind me Satan?”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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