Summary: Has anyone ever told you to get out of the way? Hopefully they said it a little more tactfully than that but we've probably all heard it at some point in our lives. One of the people that got in the way a few times was Peter. Let's see how he got in Jesus' way.
GET OUT OF THE WAY!
Has anyone ever told you to get out of the way? Hopefully they said it a little more tactfully than that but we've probably all heard it at some point in our lives. Usually this happens because someone is doing something or going somewhere and we are impeding their progress.
Most of the time we're not intentionally trying to be in someone's way. Often times we're actually trying to help but we're just in the way. Then there are times when we are purposely trying to get in the way because we don't want whatever is happening to be carried out.
I had a conversation with someone this past week about the times when God wants us to get out of the way. Sometimes when God wants to do something in or through us we can get in the way of that. We allow things like fear, doubt, worry or anxiety to get in the way. We play the 'what if' game. Sometimes it's pride and selfishness that causes us to get in the way of what God is trying to do.
Sometimes it's impatience; we're trying to make something happen in our time. Sometimes it's sin; that will certainly get in the way of what God is doing. God's always working; always trying to accomplish things. And he graciously desires to have us be a part of that work. But sometimes we get in the way. Not personally, it's the things that we put in the way-our excuses, our own agenda, our priorities, etc. One of the people that got in the way a few times was Peter. Let's see how he got in Jesus' way.
1) Get out of the way, Pete!
In last week's sermon we learned that Peter bounced back from denying Christ and he went on to be a great Apostle and leader of the early church. But he had some lessons to learn before that. One of them came when Jesus announced what was going to happen to him.
Matt. 16:21-26, "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.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"
If two people are not on the same page with something that different way of thinking or different focus will get in the way. Peter's focus was not on the same page as Jesus'. As soon as he heard that Jesus was going to suffer and die he sprang up and communicated his disapproval. Peter rebuked Jesus! Talk about feeling strongly about something.
Have you ever done that? Jesus revealed something to you and you stubbornly and emphatically resisted? It's interesting how we can disagree with Jesus while addressing him as 'Lord'.
Then Jesus responds by rebuking Peter. Why? It seems Peter is just upset that his Lord is going to suffer and die. That sounds noble. Jesus should be thanking Peter for his passionate care and concern, right? But he doesn't do that. So there must be something here that we're not seeing.
Satan was using Peter to try to get in the way. Jesus said he was a stumbling block to him; he was trying to trip him up. Jesus identified the spirit behind Peter's words and tells Satan to get behind him, i.e. get out of the way. He wanted Peter and the others to realize that what Peter said though seemingly loving was actually a detriment.
Jesus said Peter had in mind the things of men, not God. Peter was only thinking from the natural, not the supernatural. That's the most common way we are not on the same page as Jesus. Jesus is always thinking of things from the spiritual perspective. So when Jesus is saying something to us and we counter it, disagree with it or resist it, we're thinking from a worldly perspective.
Say God moves us to talk to someone about the gospel. Our response is, 'what if they get mad at me', 'what if they laugh at me', 'what if they ask me something I don't know'. These thoughts are understandable but they stem from the natural mind, not the supernatural. If God's moving us to speak then he wants us to be on the same page and trust that he will help us.