Summary: No one realized the requirement for Jesus’ sacrifice.. or his willingness
Pentecost 17 Christ, the Willing Sacrifice
† In the Name of Jesus! †
Grace and Peace is for you, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rebuke – Rebuked
What was so satanic about Peter’s comments?
I can hear Peter’s thoughts, as he listened to Jesus that incredible day. A small sense of pride, accompanies the most incredible news! They had confirmed that which they had only silently discussed among themselves. The dream of every Jewish person was about to be fulfilled, the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One of God, was finally in their midst.
Everything was about to once again, become good, even if they were not allowed to tell people about it yet. They were now sure of what they only suspected, since that day on the beach, when they left everything behind and obeyed His command; to come follow him; to follow this man from Nazareth.
Peter’s mind would be considering all the blessings that were promised with the coming of the Messiah! How incredible, all of those promises are nearly fulfilled! The suffering of God’s people was soon to be over! His mind races with all the implications of the Christ, being here, and now.
Wait, Peter’s mind is telling him, what is Jesus talking about now? He listens more intently, as Jesus is clearly talking about….
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed,”
Alarms go off, wait – the Messiah, the Christ is the Son of Man. Jesus is talking about His suffering, the leaders of the people of God rejecting Him, and KILLING HIM!
In a gut wrenching emotional outburst, Peter reacts. For he sees the greatest treasure known to the people of God, threatened. The only hope his people have, the only possible way for his people, his family, his friends, to be saved, is threatened.
And so, the impulsive Peter, pulls Jesus aside, to stop him from such pessimistic talk, to assure him that Peter would protect the Christ, with his life if need be….
Then Peter hears words too harsh to bear….
Get away from me, Satan, for you desire not God’s desire, but that of man.
What is satanic, so evil, so horrid about protecting the Messiah? Why in such a strong public rebuke, is Peter labeled Satan, the Adversary of God?
It is there, that sermon must go, to understand why the one who recognizes that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah,
1. Diabolos – to throw against – to speak against
Before we go on, we need to define a couple of words. If you look at your sermon outline, you have them there.
The first is Christ which is the Greek, or from the Hebrew, Messiah. It is a title, not a name. Christ/Messiah mean the same thing. The “Anointed One”. In the Old Testament, when a man was chosen by God, to be a King, or to be a Prophet, or even a priest, there was always an anointing. Usually with oil, but perhaps as well, with Water.
The “Anointing”, set the man apart for the task. A special task, which required the strength and blessing of God to accomplish. In the Old Testament as well, there is only one spoken of, as “the Christ”, the “Messiah”, the “Anointed One”
The other word, that we need to define, is Satan. It, like Christ, is a title, which has synonyms, words that came to mean the same thing, like Devil. Satan literally means, “The Adversary”, and “Devil” or “Diabolic” means literally, to throw against, as in "throwing accusations against". Let me demonstrate, with a volunteer. This person represents God’s desire and direction. I, for the briefest of moments, will be the adversary, the opposes, is satanic towards the plans of God. In that role, I would do anything, say anything, to stop God’s will from occurring.
2. He spoke for man’s desires, against God’s desires
As Peter attempts to push Jesus away from thoughts of the cross, he sets himself in the awkward and horrible position, of opposing the will of God. He is thinking of this world, and the need to protect the treasure, the need to keep Jesus safe. Yet, God’s desire is for something greater! Something so great, that Peter cannot yet comprehend that for which Christ was anointed. You see that is Peter’s error, he doesn’t consider the purpose for which Christ was anointed. He is thinking of man’s timing and ways, and not God’s.
Perhaps, like Peter, that is part of why we so easily can be ensnared by temptation and sin. For rather than see our lives, and our priorities, through eternal eyes, we watch our lives in the present. We set our priorities, based not on an eternal schedule, but on one that lasts 70 or 80 years, and we know the clock is running quickly. We have only so long, to make our mark, to enjoy life, to secure our place, and the place of our children in life. We have only so much time to enjoy life, and the pleasures it offers.