Today: Discerning the “foe” in the friend!
Passage: Mat 16
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mat 16, NIV84)–emphasis added
Peter makes an apparent statement of love and concern, and Jesus rebukes him!
But notice what is written there: “Peter…began to rebuke him”
I checked other versions. Peter was using sharp language, trying to STOP Jesus from being crucified. Jesus discerned the devil’s voice in that “friendly” talk
Are our “friends” keeping us away from doing what God wants us to do?
They may be sincere; they are talking to us out of compassion. But they could be sincerely wrong. We may be going against God’s will by yielding to their advice
If God is first in our life, we better ask the Lord, what He wants us to do
Jesus told Peter that his mind was having the things of men. This is what is happening to us. We get too much of the things of men/world even while we claim to be people of God. We should know where to draw the line
When we deal with spiritual people, our relationships should be spiritual
When spiritual relationships get too personal, there are chances of compromising the truth. Many issues happen in churches because “I will support my friend whether he/she are doing the right thing or not”
On the other hand, when someone behaves wrong, it is their heart. We better address it right. They did something wrong, while there is still goodness in them
We can lead them to confession and repentance
It is interesting to see how Jesus treated Peter on various occassions. When Peter disowned Jesus just before his crucifixion, Jesus did not call him “Satan”. Instead, Jesus just looked at Peter
After the crucifixion of Jesus, Peter went back fishing again. He thought everything was over. But the resurrected Jesus went after him
If it was you or me in place of Jesus, we would do just the opposite. When Peter expressed such concern saying “let not that happen to you”, we would say, “what a love and compassion he/she has for me!”
In the second palce, when someone disowns/deserts us, we will do the same back to them, especially when we are in a powerful/better position than them
Through each of these incidents, Peter got to know Jesus closer and better
Finally, Peter became the best of all whom Jesus had.
Let Jesus be our best friend at all times. All others come next
Have a blessed day
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being such a good, real friend to me. Thank you for correcting and rebuking; loving and guiding. You were not always the person I wanted you to be, and I thank you for that. You have always been good. Amen
“Jesus will always be what He should be”