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Going Too Far?

by | Aug 30, 2023 | God's Love, Knowing God

“From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, Far be it from You, Lord! This shall never happen to You.’ But He turned and He 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 16:21-23 ESV)

What a temptation that must have been to Jesus! He’s just had this great moment when Peter recognizes Him for who He truly is: “The Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16b ESV). And now Peter wants Him to avoid the path to the cross. How could he get things so right and then so wrong?

Because it’s no good at all if Jesus’ followers know who He is, but refuse to agree with what He’s doing. Jesus came here for a purpose: to lay down His life for the sake of the whole human race, so that we could be forgiven, rescued, and made children of God. That meant going to the cross. That meant suffering, death, and resurrection. The road would be hard enough to walk. The last thing Jesus needed on top of that was someone He loved whispering the devil’s suggestions in His ear.

And so Jesus pushed back, pretty violently, too. He called Peter Satan! You don’t get much worse than that. Every time I read it I can’t help seeing Peter’s shocked face. Did Jesus have to be so extreme about it? Did He go too far?

But the measure of Jesus’ pushback is the measure of His love for you and for me. He will let nothing, not even a dear disciple, stand in the way of rescuing us. It’s the whole reason He came. Nothing and nobody is going to stop Him from saving us—from bringing us home again, safe and sound, to God the Father. Jesus will do whatever He has to so that we will live. That’s how much He loves you.

We Pray: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your commitment to saving me. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on Augusts 31, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. Have you ever over-reacted to something?
2. Was it really an over-reaction, or did the people around you not understand?
3. When do you think Peter finally understood Jesus’ reaction?

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