03
Jun
10

Get behind me, Satan!

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 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.”  (Matthew 16:22-23 NIV)

As I was heading home from the gym early this morning, I turned on the radio to hear a preacher extrapolating on this passage. One of his insights struck me as a man and an emerging leader, and I thought the rest of you could profit from it as well.

This verse is a very familiar one. However, I usually recall it out of context, and thus it losses much of its impact. Most significantly, in the passages just preceding this one, Peter blatantly identifies Jesus as the Christ. Jesus commends Peter for this insight (Matthew 16:16-17). But here, just a few verses later, we find Jesus calling Peter “Satan” in an exclamatory manner! What gives?

Here’s the insight: Peter was just as available to be used by Satan to derail God’s purposes, as he was available to be used by God to further them!

What’s more: So are we.

In fact, I think that the more influence we have as leaders – and thereby the more potential impact for the Kingdom of God – the more potential we have for destruction, as well. It’s a cautionary reminder that we must, as men, remain continually vigilant and seeking our Heavenly Father so that we “have in mind the things of God,” and not “the things of men.”

-Jer

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