Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
I wonder what it was in Peter that provoked him to rebuke the Lord. Maybe a bit of religious pride entered in when Jesus told him that God had spoke to him about the identity of the messiah? It sounds like something I would have done for sure. It is a problem that many new believers face. We get a bit of revelation and then, with this new information, we feel empowered to rebuke those who are older in the faith. Jesus would have none of it.
The Lord reveals to us a bit about the nature of the Adversary. He tells us that Satan hinders God's work by causing us to focus our attention on the temporal and visible instead of things eternal and invisible. It is humbling to know that Jesus knew of his fate in Jerusalem and went there anyway. In doing this he modeled for us what it is to deny ourself, take up our cross and follow God. And we emulate Christ when we embrace this eternal focus.
Lord, help me to embrace my cross. Open my eyes to eternal things.