Are we sailing in the same boat when you wonder like me why Jesus had to tell Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’ Those who are Christians are familiar with that verse I have just quoted. For those who are not, I will give you a chance to read it in Matthew 16:23. It will not break any arm if you read the whole chapter including the verse to understand better. By reading it, it may even make more sense/or get the gist to understand what I want to talk about. The concerns of God that Jesus was talking about were the hidden things that we do not know about us, but are revealed to us as mystery through Him (Son of God Jesus Christ). These are called the Spiritual matters in other words.
I have been going to church for many years and I have read that verse many times, but I have never understood why Jesus had to tell a friend that. I felt somehow he was too hash to Peter and every time I read that, I did not want to be fooled that Jesus was calling Peter an enemy whereas I knew they were good friends and actually one of his favourite disciple and i am happy i did not do that as my Pastor through his preaching confirmed to me that, he was not trying to pin him down as many of us would think. As I read more before, I always felt that Jesus was unfair to Peter forgetting I was judging from my human perspective and Jesus was judging from the Spiritual perspective, that is, according to Gods interpretation and not my thinking and understanding. Peter was just trying to convince him not to die as he is a good person and does not deserve to die. Imagine a friend who you always walk with, eat with, fellowship with, preach with and do many other things with, telling you such a thing as, 'Get behind me, ....... I mean, I would feel very offended. Many times our friends tell us things and we get so offended to a point that we do not even talk to them anymore. Unfortunately, we do not get the point or misinterpret them to be bad people yet may be they meant it good for us telling us the truth who we really are but we never like being told who we really are especially when we are doing wrong knowing or unknowingly. Can I also make you ponder on what Peter felt when he was called a Satan? As for me as I was not there, I will guess that he felt so offended and no wonder we see him denying Jesus three times later. Was he revenging because Jesus told him all that, or was he just being human where he wanted to save his life so that he is not implicated as we always do when we find ourselves on crossroads and fear to be associated with our friends especially when they are in problems? We cannot really tell but this story is not different from our day in and out behaviors towards one another. Peter is not an exceptional nor are you, as we are all human beings and we are bound to fall short of the glory of God. Remember Jesus knew everything that Peter was going to do and as much as he knew that, he did not put him aside and said, this one, will deny me at some point I do not need him as a friend, or he is not someone I can trust. Remember Jesus was doing everything with him even in His knowledge that he would deny him at some point, cut someone’s ear and doubt him when he gets in the middle of the water when he called him and many other things that are not recorded in the Bible to get the gist even clearer. These are the things that we do always in our daily life. Denying our Lord by mistreating others, doubting God when we are going through storms, defending sin, or murmuring and grumbling when things are not working our way just to mention a few. But Jesus made Peter his best friend still even with all these struggles he had. This applies to us too, as in, Jesus does not call you because you qualify, but he calls you because you were disqualified but qualifies you as you walk with him daily. To him it did not matter about Peter’s weaknesses or shortcomings. What mattered is that the will of God would be done as he had ordained it through him. We also see Peter's role and presence was also ordained as we see he became one of the biggest teachers of the word after Jesus died and resurrected.
There was to be a story behind his dying on the cross and Peters role, plus Judas and others were meant to be so that the prophesy can be fulfilled. Now I understand why Peter was really against Jesus dying for us. As in, would you want anyone that you love with all your heart dying for you in real sense? Most of the time as human beings, we always want good for our family, friends and those that really matter to us. For me, I find Peter a very good and caring person who would never want anything bad to anyone and especially his best friend Jesus. I still now understand from my Pastors preaching on Sunday that, Jesus was not calling Peter Satan, but what the Satan was saying through Peter. You will wonder can someone who knows God especially in our case, someone like Peter, speak something from the evil one? Most of the time we think as Christians, Satan cannot use us to carry his mission. I will shock you, most of the times he does use us because when you look around you, the evil that is there is too much and yet we claim to be Christians 80% in case of Kenya for example. I can’t mention about other parts of the world, as I can’t fathom the number of us who are Christians and the things we do that are so evil instead of influencing the world positively to curb the evil that is around us. May the Lord have mercy on us! When you call yourself a Christian and you go backbiting others, speak ill of others, analyze/judging others negatively, lying, taking advantage of others, feeling superior than others, not taking care of the weak ones and orphans, not respecting our elders and thinking we are of the same age, not obeying God in the very many ways he speaks to us, making this world a fighting ground, not respecting authorities, and being corrupt and doing injustice things, not having mercy and compassion and many other things we do that offend God, are we not being used of the evil one and we claim to be children of God? Now get this, Peter was innocently defending Jesus as a friend and responded to him just as a human being. Just as we do defend one another whether they are in the right or wrong as we always want good for our own. But Jesus death was for a greater cause and mission that the devil knew very well and he could not allow it happen because it would have saved even that Peter as we see Jesus died for us all and not for some. Unfortunately, the devil has been lying to most of us just as He was manipulating Peter not to understand that Jesus death was for a good cause, and thus, many people fear salvation or even fear to say they are saved/born-again when they are because they think to be saved you have to be very holy forgetting that we can never be Holy it is only Jesus who is Holy as he died for us so that we can be set free. We are only meant to understand that He is the Son of God; He came to earth and died for our Sins so that we can have a fellowship with God because when we (Adam and Eve) sinned there was a gap that needed a bridge so that we can reach God. That bridge was no one else but Jesus Christ the Son of God. That mentality of thinking that once you receive Christ you should not slip has made everyone scale Christians so highly posing it to look like if you are a Christian, you should never fall and if you do then that is so bad of you and people start talking about you and making it a big fuss. I am not defending sin here my dear friends, but I want to put my point clear here and now that, you can never be Holy on your own. It is only through Jesus that you can be made Holy as you will always sin but our God is very merciful and willing to forgive you and me as many times as possible as we work towards our perfection through him who perfects us and not ourselves. This attitude has made many people even those who know Jesus deny him just like Peter as they can never say in public they are born again because of the sins that are entangling them in fear to be judged. As I write this I will not tell you I am writing all this because I am not holier than thou. I am saying this boldly that I am a sinner and I also get short of the glory of God now and then, but when he corrects me, rebukes me, I always go back to him and ask for forgiveness and my God is so faithful, this far he has brought me from the dungeons of the evil one to his best place of having a good and sweet fellowship with him personally. I have come to realize most of the time when we are born again we think that there are things we can’t do or rather you think you keep yourself away from sin. I will tell you, that is a lie no man that can save himself and walk holy even if they lock themselves in a room where they will not mingle with sinners. As a Christian you will fall many times but you will wake up, repent and go to your next level after you win the temptation. It is only Jesus the Son of God who was assigned this mission to die for you and me so that we can be called the righteous of God and live a Holy life. Without him we can never be Holy. We face God because Jesus is our righteousness as He died for us and now we have peace with our God and we can face him directly through his Son Jesus Christ. There is a lie we have always clung on that there are some people who are holier than others and we seek them to lay hands on us so that we can be blessed of the lord and be healed from all our sickness, be forgiven our sins as we think when they pray that is when God will hear them and forgive us. We have been blinded so much by those who claim to be more holier or powerful making us think their prayers are more heard than ours, and many many things we do in the name of looking for health, wealth and forgiveness forgetting that Jesus is the only way the truth and the life. No one goes to the Father except through him. If you are his child you have all it takes to be used of the Lord through his Power for his glory. If you know the power God has given you, you would not go seeking for other people to do anything for you, but have a personal relationship with him who will reveal to you many wonderful things that he has in store for you that you can’t think of or imagine. You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. If you do not know Jesus as your Lord, I wonder who helps you reach him because if you do it on your own, then your prayers and works are futile and they will earn you nothing but hell.
Happy are you who has given your life to the Lord not only your live but your will to him as your Lord and Savior. Jesus did it for you once and for all on the cross, and what you only need to do is to surrender yourself fully to him and he will direct the other things in place. Not because when you do that you will not fall. No! But because he did or rather died for you 2000 years ago, then you should not walk in guilt and fear of the unknown but walk with confidence that even if you fall, he will hold your hand and bring you back on the track so that you continue with the journey. As in, you won’t walk alone he will be with you in all you go through, that is, your falling, your storms and all other things that you will meet on your way. He will enable you overcome and crown you his servant. Even if you will fall, you will realize your mistake and repent and seek him more so that you overcome all your weaknesses. In the process of doing so, you will understand it is not you who called yourself but he called you just the way you are and as you continue having a fellowship with him, then, he will make you Holy just as He is because every temptation that will come your way, He will deal with it together with you and affirm you that it is over. Jesus telling Peter go away you Satan did not mean he hated Peter or he had no value for Peter, it was just that he was speaking to the Satan himself because he knew the world (evil one and his agents) would have loved him not dying for his people and continue keeping them captive not excluding Peter whom the devil was taking advantage of. We see he never hated Peter because even after he rose again, he appeared to him and other disciples confirming to them that truly He was God and no wonder he gave Peter the mandate to take care of his sheep (people) and proclaim Him all over the world that He is Lord. And because Peter was set free he started a new journey with the Lord as a person who was set free and ready to be used of him and continued serving God in a mighty way.
I guess sometimes we ought to rebuke the Satan in our own lives so that we can be set free as still, there are those who are in the world of darkness and have not seen the light or ignored the light and sought to lead themselves. Most of the time the things that hold us back, make us not enjoy life to the fullest because we live a lie with the enticements from the evil one who makes us lose the mark making things look like they are fine and okay whereas we are leading us to death/hell. For example you are born again but you still practice things that are not good that have made you stagnate in your relationship with God, can you rebuke them and say as Jesus said to Satan, You adultery! You hypocrite! You gossiper! You liar! You intimidate! You prostitute! You robber! You hater! You silent criminal! You cigarette! You brothel! You beer! You pornography! And many other things that you know are hindering you having a relationship with Jesus. Can you rebuke them now and tell God to help you. I know some might doubt if this can happen just like that. I will tell you from deep my heart, you can rebuke all that and others if you just accept you are not walking right with God and ask for forgiveness. God is faithful and just and will forgive you your sins and purify you from all your unrighteousness because if we claim we have no sin we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. So, we all need Jesus every day in our life. No one is exceptional here. We need to have a personal walk with him so that he can guide and direct us to walk in righteousness and be used of him for his purpose and glory. May the Lord help you to know exactly where you stand so that you can start a fresh with him. If you are a backslider or you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour then do that very soon. Do not waste any more time. Visit one of the Bible believing Churches and connect with other believers. Your life will never be the same. God bless you all.