And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Mark 8:31-33 ESV)
Look carefully at these words and ponder what Jesus says. He must suffer. He must die, he must be buried and he must be raised. The death and resurrection of Jesus is absolutely essential to the plan of God to redeem the world. Without Christ’s death, the change that God plans to bring about will not be accomplished.
Peter, however is having none of this talk. Peter confronts the Lord and rebukes him for saying he is going to die. Peter figures he knows better than the Lord. He cannot conceive of a messiah who comes to die, so he tells Jesus that this cannot be true.
Jesus rebukes Peter. “Get behind me Satan,” He says. Peter’s comments to Jesus resemble all too closely the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness when Satan offered Jesus what was rightfully his before it was God’s time for him to have it (Luke 4:6ff). Have the kingdom – skip the suffering. Peter here is following in Satan’s footsteps. Have the kingdom, but not the suffering. Yet remember, Jesus must suffer – it’s what he said. And so Jesus rebukes Peter because Peter was not savoring, he was not appreciating the ways and plans of God – he instead wanted his own plans and thoughts to be the will of God.
Where in your life do you operate this way?
Is there some aspect of your life where you prefer your will to God’s will?
How about the way you spend money?
How about the way you give?
How about the way you relate to your spouse?
How about the way you think?
How about the way you speak?
How about the way you relate to your kids?
How about the way you handle conflict?
How about the way you approach food?
How about the goals you have?
How about the way you think about retirement?
How about the way you look?
How about the things you lust after?
How about the way we approach entertainment?
How about the needs we feel we have for friends and approval?
Truth is, there are hundreds of ways we might be willing to prefer our will to God’s and like Peter, we need to hear the rebuke of our Lord…Get behind me Satan – you savor the things that be of men and not of God! Learn to seek the will of our God!