GET BEHIND ME SATAN! Most of us know these words, or at least have heard them in some circles. They have become a party joke. But these are no light words or laughing matter. Jesus was explaining to His disciples His path of suffering and death. The apostle Peter says, “No Jesus! That shall not be Your path!” Perhaps thinking he is helping out the Savior of the world. Jesus sternly corrects Peter, even calling him an offense. This word “offense” in the Greek means a “scandal”. It is a cause for displeasure or sin, an occasion to stumble and fall. In short, Jesus tells Peter that he is a stumbling block to God’s plan. I’m pretty sure I do not want the King of kings to say that to me.
“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 16:23
You heard it right. Jesus calls His beloved Peter, Satan and an offense. Often, we want to spare those we love pain and suffering when that is exactly the will of God for their life. Notice what Jesus says, “You are mindful of the things of men.” Meaning, your understanding of affliction is a fleshly, worldly response. We must see through the eyes of the Lord and put on the mind of Christ.
I see this a lot with parents. Parents try to spare their kids pain, but that pain is precisely what is going to bring them victorious character. Parents, you become an offense to your children. Yikes! You should greatly fear and be warned. Do not become a stumbling block for your brethren. We have to answer to God. My greatest victories have been on the other side of pain, affliction and death. Death to self is the call of Jesus. And the sooner you teach this to your children, the better.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
I’m not sure you understand what this means, but the cross represents love, selflessness, pain, suffering and death. The cross represents the rejection of men. Like Jesus, those who take this path WILL be despised and rejected. This is God’s will for all who will follow Him. But people like to play as an amateur Providence in other’s lives and interfere with God’s plan of sanctification and redemption. I get it.
We want to help people. But if we are not careful, we overstep our bounds and become a hindrance. Get thee behind me Satan! God has a plan of victory for my life and this plan includes suffering with Christ. The point of pain and affliction is to drive us to the throne of grace. Hanging on your own cross, despised and rejected; your only help is to trust Him more. He’s working in you for your benefit. Please read that again. Pain’s purpose has cleansing and purifying benefits. People want to behold the cross from a distance. But the call of Jesus is to go through the cross. Stay in the fire of affliction. Your greatest victory is on the other side of the cross.
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