From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:21-23)
Mindful Of The Word
Jesus was the teacher of a band of disciples that followed Him and learned of the word of God. The teaching of Jesus was unlike what these men had heard from the religious leaders of the day. He spoke with authority. Jesus did not mince words and defeated the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders at every turn. Being a disciple of a teacher like Jesus would impress upon the mind a presence of divine authority. The disciples witnessed incredible miracles confirming their teacher was the Son of God.
Jesus asked His disciples who people were saying He was. Some thought Jesus to be John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. Peter responded that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus commended Peter for his answer. Shortly afterward, Jesus began to show to His disciples that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the Jewish leaders. In fact, Jesus tells His disciples that He will be killed, but he will be raised from the dead on the third day. This upset Peter who took exception to the words of Jesus. He could not imagine the one he just identified as the Son of God would allow such a thing to happen. Peter’s idea of the kingdom of heaven was wrapped in a carnal garment of an earthly kingdom.
Peter took Jesus aside and reprimanded his teacher for suggesting His own people would kill Him. It seemed incredulous that Jesus would think the elders, chief priests, and scribes would do such a thing. In the mind of Peter, Jesus was wrong and he was going to set Jesus straight about the matter. Peter tells Jesus such a thing would never happen and he would not allow it. The other disciples would not allow it. Peter could see no reason why Jesus would think such a thing. Taking the matter into his own hand, Peter rebukes Jesus.
What Peter had forgotten was the word of Jesus was the authority of God. Peter’s bravery was a veneer of courage. Later, Peter would deny Jesus three times when faced with being a follower of the man just arrested and taken before Pilate. Jesus reminded Peter that he could not change the will of God. It was in the divine plan for Jesus to die and Peter’s denial would not change that. All the miracles proved Jesus was the Son of God which confirmed the words of Jesus were divine. Peter should have accepted what Jesus said with faith and followed the words of Jesus. Taking Jesus aside to rebuke him was an affront to the character of Jesus and His word.
The problem with men is when they are not mindful of the word of God, they go beyond the word or deny the word. Peter was not mindful of what God’s plan was. He could only see things from a human viewpoint. There was no reason in the mind of Peter the Jewish leaders would do such a thing. The problem with Peter was he did not understand the whole picture. He tried to change the word of God to something he could understand. When Jesus told him something he disagreed with, he rebuked Jesus. Many read the Bible and disagree with God’s words and criticize the Lord by adding to His word or taking away from His word. These men are not mindful of the word of God. Like Peter, they have their own ideas and doctrines.
God sent His Son to tell all men His will. Jesus taught the word of God and showed by His power the word was divine. The responsibility of everyone is to accept the word of God. Too many people take God to task for His word because they do not understand and do not agree. This does not change the word of God but that is why there are so many different churches and faiths today. Men think they know better than God. They go beyond His word or they deny His word. Sadly, the rebuke of Jesus comes from the word and if a man fails to receive this rebuke, he will lose his soul. Men dare not challenge the word of God lest He takes them aside and says, “Get behind Me, Satan.”