Get behind me, Satan!

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

What a scene! I am trying to imagine being with the disciples.. hearing Peter identify Jesus as the Messiah.. and then hearing the Lord describe what it means to be the Messiah. Perhaps up to that point the disciples embraced the vision of a Messiah who would defeat Rome and liberate Israel? News of a Messiah who would be seemingly defeated by religious leaders is the opposite of what they had imagined. No one wanted such a Messiah.

But this is the Messiah we all need. Consider this prophetic vision of the Messiah that the prophet Isaiah saw some four hundred years before Christ appeared to man:
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows,
and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
Such is the Messiah that Peter ignorantly rebuked. Such is the Messiah that rebuked Peter telling him that he did not have a clue who the Christ really was. Such is the Messiah that death could not hold. Such is the Messiah who rose from the grave and ever lives and rules in Heaven. And such is the Messiah that we confess and love to this very day.

Help me Lord to set my mind on the things of God and not on the things of man.

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