"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 concerns of God, but merely human concerns.'” (Matthew 16:22-23 NIV)
Insecurity demands that I must always be in control, must always have the last word, and must always have my way.
Insecurity leads to power struggles, and the result is that we live in perpetual conflict. When pressed, we can even try to snatch something out of God’s hands, the way a child will grab something from another.
In a sense, Peter is doing just that. When Jesus explains God’s plan, including his sacrificial death, Peter tries to snatch this cosmic plan from the Lord’s hands: “Never, Lord!” he says. “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 concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (Matthew 16:22-23 NIV).
You have to feel for Peter, because he’s a picture-perfect snapshot of the up-and-down struggle we have maintaining faith while living in a nasty-now-and-now world.
It wasn’t very long before this that Peter had declared Jesus “the Christ, the Son of God.” And Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:16-17).
Fast-forward a few verses, and Jesus rebukes Peter for “seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” (Matthew 16:23 NLT). “You have no idea how God works” (Matthew 16:23 MSG).
When we think like mere men, we distract ourselves from God’s plan and we get in the way of God’s purpose. Jesus’ rebuke isn’t a final statement of our dim-witted humanity; rather, it’s an exhortation that we can match our minds with God as we let the mind of Christ carry us to the things above.