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.” Matthew 16:23
High off of correctly calling Jesus the Messiah, Peter must have been feeling pretty special. He nailed it! Until… Jesus begins to tell Peter and the others what will happen to Him…suffering, being killed, rising three days later. Peter steps in. He just can’t help himself. This is the Christ. His friend. Peter wants to take charge and do things the way he thinks they should be done, which doesn’t include suffering and dying, that’s for sure.
“Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me” Jesus responds. Ouch! Jesus’s response to Peter seems pretty harsh at first glance, but this was serious business to Jesus. This is what He came for, and no friend or foe is going to thwart it.
The devil is tricky, and no one knows this more than Jesus. Peter’s intentions weren’t evil. He loved Jesus. He didn’t want Jesus to suffer, or be rejected, or killed. Who can blame him? But this wasn’t God’s plan, and Jesus knew it. He recognizes the devil’s tricks, encouraging us to seek comfort, control, security. Avoid pain at all costs. Jesus couldn’t let this one slide. He had to call Satan out.
Our instinct is to try to fix things, and all too often we lean on our own solutions instead of God. In our fix-it mode, we could be preventing a mighty work of God on the other side. We think we are making things easier, but God isn’t about easy. God is about holy.
Have you ever been fired up for God about something and felt attacked out of nowhere…family, health, relationships, work? When we are earnestly seeking and doing the things of God, the devil works overtime to try to trip us up. We too can utter the words, “Get behind me, Satan!”
Challenge: Follow Jesus’s lead and cry out, “Get behind me, Satan!” when you feel attacked. Just saying these words can change your mindset, allowing you to see these kinds of attacks for what they are and to get back to the things God is calling you to do.