Avoid a Rebuke

August 12, 2018

Mark 8:33… 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.”

            This is a most interesting rebuke of Peter. Peter had spoken up against the activities that Jesus had just described for them where Jesus was going to be killed by the religious leaders of the day. Peter expressed his displeasure and possibly his actions to prevent what Jesus described. At this point in time, Jesus was Peter’s hero. Surely, after all the good He had done, He was not going to be crucified.  I can imagine feeling just like Peter. In fact, how could I feel anything else? Today’s rebuke is aimed at me as well as Peter. In context, perhaps I am setting my mind on the things of man rather than on the things of God. I have an advantage over Peter; I know about the crucifixion and the place it holds in the history of mankind. At the time of his rebuke, Peter did not know the full story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. He knew Jesus in His pre-crucifixion state, and he liked Him. I suspect that is one of humanity’s first mistakes regarding Jesus… liking and wanting the pre-crucified Jesus. According to the paintings, He had long soft hair and gentle eyes. And He carried lambs and held little children in his arms. It is human to want to preserve that image of Jesus. But, the apostle, John, on the island of Patmos, had a vision which he wrote down for us in the letter known as the Revelation. The vision included Jesus, whom John didn’t even recognize.(Revelation 1:12-17) Does that not surprise you? John had been with Jesus right up until His death and saw Him after His resurrection. But, when he sees Him in heaven, he doesn’t know who He is. The things of God are not the same as the things of man.

            Be cautious when your prayer includes words like, “Here is what I would like, Jesus; can you make that happen?” Peter wanted things to continue as they were, with a possible twist which gave Jesus ruling power over His enemies. Jesus rebuked him. You don’t want a rebuke from Jesus when you pray. You want an answer… a blessing.  Jesus is no longer the guy with long soft hair and gentle eyes; He is the King of all things and all people. He is our king.