From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:21-23)
As we began to explore yesterday, we wonder why Peter would make such a crucial slip of the tongue. This concern comes from the impression within ourselves that we might not have made the same mistake, knowing what we do about Jesus. The answer that may elude us is this; Peter’s statement was not the result of ignorance or a lack of information. Peter’s rebuke was located in his resentment.
In his mind, Peter has sacrificed everything to follow and serve with Jesus but not to the end that Jesus was unfolding before him. Had he known in the beginning that Jesus was headed toward the cross, he more than likely would have stayed in Bethsaida and kept his fishing business. Peter’s rebuke was centered on himself and the good things that he thought should come from an association with Jesus.
Denial of self and carrying one’s own cross was not on his agenda.
The meditation today is in large part for pastors. How many of us are in the same place as Peter? How many of us are tired of suffering for Christ and want to look for the good things that were promised? We are willing to carry our cross but, just so far before we want a reward. Our name should be Peter.