I was reading today in Mark 8 and Jesus asks His disciples who people say He is. Then He follows up the question with, “Who do you say that I am?”
Now, Peter says extremely confidently that Jesus is the Christ! Which is true! I wish sometimes I responded as confidently as Peter does when I discuss truth. It is great that Peter was given grace to see that Jesus was the Christ.
Yet it seems as if his knowledge went to his head. Just like when many get the right answers they then think of themselves as “all that.”
In just a few sentences later, Peter rebukes Jesus. Seriously, you rebuked the one that you just called “The Christ?” Hello! Peter, what are you thinking?
Peter must not have liked this idea of Jesus being killed, so he felt the need to rebuke his Master.
Confident Peter rebukes Jesus and then Jesus rebukes Peter, “Get behind me, Satan.”
Now, as Timothy Durey, Pastor of Ventura Baptist Church
pointed out to me, this is a very gracious sentence of Jesus…
The Grace of Jesus
What does Jesus say to Peter? Get Behind Me! What better place to be than behind Jesus. It is like Jesus is shepherding Peter and saying, “Get back to where you belong under my safe protection, which is behind me.”
Peter was starting to stray and even wanting to lead Jesus, and God says, “Follow me.”
Yes, Jesus does use stern language to communicate to Peter, but it was all done because He loves Peter and cares for Peter to be back where Peter thrives–behind Jesus.
How true is that in our own lives? Often I can get overly confident and prideful in my responses. I may choose my own way. I may forsake following Christ, and in some way or another Jesus communicates to me, “Get back behind me.” And when I do, it is the sweetest place I belong.