Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
This is a really interesting exchange between Jesus and Peter. What first gets my attention is Jesus’ rebuke in v.33. He doesn’t rebuke Peter by name, but instead he rebukes Satan. Why does he do this? Well, I believe it’s because Satan is using Peter’s love against him.
It would be natural to want to defend someone you love. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the disciples loved Jesus, and he them. I can imagine Satan whispering in Peter’s ear that he can’t let anything happen to Jesus, that Jesus was clearly not thinking clearly or he wouldn’t speak of his own death. Of course, were Jesus to avoid death on a cross then he would also avoid resurrection – and sin and death would still have the last word over us rather than God’s grace. But fortunately Jesus discerns what’s going on and mitigates Satan’s influence.
I’m sure this sort of things happens in our day as well. Satan cannot MAKE people do anything. He has no control, only influence. But he also knows where our vulnerabilities are and exploits them. I’m wondering this morning where this may be happening with me. How is the enemy of God subtly whispering in my ear, nudging me toward rebellion?
Lord Jesus you exposed Satan’s lies before your disciples. Do the same for us today. I pray this in your holy name. Amen.