Matthew has presented Christ as the Son of David up to this point; in Matthew 16:21 ,he presents Him as the Son of Abraham, the one to be offered in sacrifice!  There is a sharp division as He responds to Peter, who takes Him aside and says, “God forbid it Lord!  This shall never happen to You!” (16:22)

Remember, at the outset of His ministry Jesus had chosen the twelve disciples, and during the early stages He sent them forth to present the message of the Kingdom.  We see now a gradual, but decisive twist, as He is presented as the sacrificial offering for the sin of the world.

As usual, Peter opens his mouth before the other disciples.  He is determined to stand with Jesus, even if it means death… “This shall never happen to you”.  He did so again when they arrested Jesus, taking a sword and surgically removing from an ear those endeavoring to arrest Christ.

Jesus uses very strong words to Peter: “Get behind me Satan!  You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”  Two things stand out… “Satan” and “man’s”!  Some sin stems from Satan directly, whereas others come from the heart of depraved humans.  Satan loves to use man to show his obstinacy toward God.  He did it in the Garden of Eden, and he continues to practice it to this very hour.

Just because we have chosen Christ as our Lord and Savior, and have begun to follow His call to service, it does not indicate that Satan will walk away in defeat.  His deviancy manifests itself daily.  We need to call on His strength in every situation for victory.  As you read further in this passage we read to this effect!

Jesus said: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses life for My sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  MEDITATE! (Matthew 16:24-26)


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