Summary: In this episode from the life of Peter, we learn how to avoid being used by Satan to stop the progress of God's kingdom.
A. The story is told of a minister who parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn't find a space with a meter.
1. So he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: “I have circled the block 100 times. If I don't park here, I'll miss my appointment. FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES.”
2. When he returned to his car, he found a ticket from a police officer along with this note. “I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don't give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.”
3. The moral of the story is that the devil can use anyone to lead someone into temptation – he can even act through a minister.
B. You might be intrigued by the title of today’s sermon: “The Devil in Blue Jeans.”
1. I took the title from a 1981 song by Terri Gibbs called Somebody’s Knockin’.
a. The song begins with these words:
Somebody's knockin', Should I let him in
Lord, it's the devil, Would you look at him
I've heard about him, But I never dreamed
He'd have blue eyes and blue jeans
2. Perhaps you are more familiar with the 1966 hit song Devil with the Blue Dress On by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels; it reached #4 on the charts. (Bruce Springsteen did a cover of it)
a. That song includes the words: Devil with the blue dress, blue dress, blue dress, Devil with the blue dress on!
C. I bring up these two songs and that opening story to lead into today’s story from the life of Peter, because Peter becomes the devil in blue jeans.
1. Everything about the story we will look at today seems strange.
2. In today’s story, we will see Peter rebuke Jesus, and then we will see Jesus rebuke Peter.
3. When Jesus rebuked Peter, He applied a very shocking title to Peter.
4. Although Jesus used more colorful language when He rebuked the Pharisees in Matthew 23, He never called them “Satan.”
5. For that matter, even though the Bible says that Satan entered Judas in John 13:27, Jesus never called Judas “Satan.”
6. Peter remains the only person Jesus ever called “Satan.”
D. Another thing that makes this story peculiar is the timing of it.
1. The part of the story that we will examine today comes right after the part of the story we looked at last week.
2. Last week, we witnessed Peter uttering those magnificent, inspired words – “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mt. 16:16)
3. And in response to that declaration, Jesus praised Peter saying: 17 “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17-19)
4. And so, isn’t it surprising that Peter would need to be rebuked right after he was so praised?
5. Let’s look at the story and learn some lessons from it.
I. The Story
A. Let’s pick up the story in Matthew 16:21, the Bible says: 21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
1. Our challenge in feeling what the disciples must have felt in response to this announcement of Jesus is that this is old news to us.
a. We are 2000 years past these events occurring, but the disciples were hearing this for the first time and were only months from it taking place.
b. If we have been Christians for any period of time, then we know the story of the crucifixion and resurrection, and we remember it each Sunday when we partake of the Lord’s Supper.
c. So no matter how we read the story, it is not new news to us and it makes perfect sense to us that this would have to happen to Jesus.
2. But that was not the case for Peter and the other apostles.
a. The thought that their Master and Teacher would be killed in Jerusalem hit them like a punch in the stomach!
3. Imagine anyone you care about telling you they are going to die.
a. It would have been very hard for them to hear anything more that Jesus said.