Daily Devotional: Day 118
“Then Peter took Him [Jesus] aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He [Jesus] turned and said to Peter, “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” (Matthew 16:22-23, NKJV).
To accomplish His mission as Savior, Jesus had to die for the sins of the world and rise from the dead to give us a new life – the new creation life. Satan tempted Jesus early on with the hope of getting Him to fall. He failed, but he did not give up. He moved to Plan B. If he couldn’t deceive Jesus directly, perhaps he could succeed indirectly – through Peter, a close associate of Jesus. That is what is taking place in today’s Bible text. Peter attempted to speak ‘positive’ things into Jesus’ life, but Jesus let him know that he was not speaking God’s mind, but satan’s.
Lesson 1: Not all those who speak supposedly ‘good things’ into our life are necessarily speaking the mind of God. Moreover, not all ‘misfortunes’ are necessarily bad for us. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). At times, the Father allows us to go through a ‘misfortune,’ because He has planned a manifestation of His glory through those circumstances (cf. John 9:1-3).
Lesson 2: At times we speak from the flesh and we don’t even know it, because we are not thinking what God is thinking. You may mean well and still speak the mind of satan instead of God’s mind. Peter meant well, but he was wrong, because he allowed satan to influence him; and he didn’t even realize it. Train yourself through prayer and meditation on God’s Word to detect satan’s presence.
Lesson 3: Peter’s (or satan’s) reaction to Jesus was selective. What I mean is, he reacted to only part of what Jesus said, but ignored the rest. He only heard the part where Jesus said He would suffer and die, but he ignored the part where Jesus mentioned that He would rise from the dead. Sometimes, we too, engage in selective listening of Jesus’ Word; we pick and choose what we want to hear and what we don’t want to hear.
Lesson 4: We live in a world – often influenced by New Age and theosophical teachings and terminologies – where we’re being conditioned to only seek and speak messages that are ‘positive.’ The belief is, so long as we sound ‘positive,’ we must be in the right direction. It sounds ‘Christian,’ but this is not what the Father teaches us. If you use a Bible app, do a word search for ‘positive’ or ‘negative.’ See what comes up.
When Jesus said that He was about to die, it sounded ‘negative’ to Peter, which explains why Peter said, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” Peter’s statement sounded ‘positive’ and caring, but it came from satan. Remember this: God’s Word is always true, but it is not always ‘positive.’ Satan’s word is always deceptive, but it is not always negative. At times, satan can deceive us with supposedly ‘positive’ messages. Bottom line: Truth is neither positive nor negative. We must, therefore, care about True or False, from God or from satan, but not Positive or Negative.
The mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you today. Amen.
Pray to the Father about today’s message.
For further study: John 8:12-59