Summary: Jesus is tempted by Peter
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
The Jews always regarded the greatest days in their history as the days of David; and they dreamed of a day when there would be another king of David’s line, a king who would make them great in righteousness and in power. (Isaiah 9:7; 11:1; Jeremiah 22:4, 23:5; 30:9.) But as time went on it came to be very clear that this dreamed of greatness would never be achieved by natural means. The ten tribes were carried off to Assyria and lost forever. The Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and carried the Jews away captive. Then came the Persians as their masters; then the Greeks; then the Romans. So for centuries the Jews never even knew what it was to be completely free and independent.
At this point we see a new theme being introduced by Jesus. This new teaching would not be meaningful until He had been accepted as the Messiah. Even the disciples shared the idea that the Messiah had come to deliver the Jews from Roman rule. This kind of belief would never bring spiritual revival, but instead it encouraged political revolution. The idea of a suffering Messiah was an idea completely foreign to Jewish thinking. Jesus tried to warn His disciples that He was going up to Jerusalem to die and not to become a political ruler, but they failed to understand what he was talking about. This is why Peter so forcefully protested. Jesus saw in this protest the same temptations that Satan had presented to Him early in His ministry, that being to choose the easy way and avoid suffering. It is a strange thing, and sometimes a terrible thing, that the tempter sometimes speaks to us in the voice of a well-meaning friend. This is why Jesus so sternly rebuked Peter and said, "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
John Piper says that sin (lust for example) “gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be more happy if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.” (Quoted in Putting Your Past Behind You, E. Lutzer, Here’s Life, 1990 p. 54)
Sometimes a well-meaning friend will try to get us to follow the way of the tempter. I may have decided on a course of life which is right, but will bring hardship, unpopularity and sacrifice. This friend with the best intentions in the world will try to stop me. I need to plan now how I would handle that kind of situation and discuss it with my family.