Getting Acquainted With Peter, 5: The Confession
- Monday, May 17, 2004
"What happened?" Mark might have asked Peter.
"Well," Peter begins, leaning in close. "I took Jesus aside from the others and said, "No way, Lord! This will never happen to you!" (See Matthew 16: 22)
"What did Jesus say to that?" Mark might have then asked.
Peter's expression changes from intense to a deep grimace. "Uh...yeah...that one still smarts. What He said was, 'Get behind me, Satan!'"
"He called you a bad name?"
"Yeah...and then He said, 'You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
Poor Peter. Once again trying to get it right, only to face the fury of the Lord. Surely Peter thought it best that the Son of God never face persecution...that He remain with them for eternity. This had, so far, been a pretty good ride. Couldn't it go on forever? Wouldn't mankind be better served by Jesus' life, rather than His persecution and death?
Peter could only see with his human eyes rather than the eyes of the Spirit because the Spirit had yet to descend upon him and to live within him. Oh, what a difference the Spirit makes. By the power of the Spirit Peter would later come to understand that only by the Lord's death, burial, and resurrection could mankind be rejoined to God.
First confession...then confusion. What was Peter to think? Jesus had, in one breath, told him His church would be built on Peter's confession and that he would hold the keys to the kingdom of Heaven (Do you think Peter could have ever imaged the "Peter At The Pearly Gates" jokes?). Then, in the next breath, He is referring to Peter as "Satan."
Six days passed. On the seventh day Jesus takes Peter (along with James and John) up a high mountain and there is transfigured. We talked about this in the last installment, so I won't belabor it now. Focus however on verse 7 of Mark 9. God the Father says to the three disciples, "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!"
Two things I'd like for you to consider: What was Peter thinking about during those six days? And, why was God so emphatic in His last sentence to the disciples?
"Listen to him!"
The word used for "listen" is "akouo." It means more than just hearing. The word carries with it the concept of perceiving what is being said. To comprehend. To learn from a teacher.
Questions for Personal or Group Study
1. Who do you say Jesus is?
2. How can you defend that confession?
3. Have you ever been confused by your faith or in your faith?
4. How did God confirm within you the truth of what He's shown you in His word?
5. If you had been both praised and rebuked by the Lord as Peter was, what do you think you would have thought about in the six days that followed?
6. Has the Lord ever whispered something powerful in your heart that you "heard" but just didn't "comprehend" at the time.
7. How well do you "akouo" when God speaks?
Award-winning national speaker, Eva Marie Everson's work includes Intimate Moments with God and Intimate Encounters with God (Cook). She is the author of Shadow of Dreams, Summon the Shadows and Shadow of Light. (Barbour Fiction) She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.EvaMarieEverson.com.
Other Articles in This Series:
Getting Acquainted With Peter, 4: The Inner Circle
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