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5/25/16 - The true purpose of Jesus Christ

Published: Wednesday, 25 May 2016 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

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, the chief priests and the 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 concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”   Matthew 16:21-23

This is the first of three times recorded in Scripture that Jesus told His disciples that He would face death and resurrection.  The disciples continued to have a difficult time accepting the death and resurrection of Jesus.  As Believers, we know that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins.  He was resurrected as a testimony and a guarantee that Believers would also be resurrected to eternal life.  Why was it so hard for the disciples to grasp what Jesus was telling them?  I believe there are many things that Jesus said that we have a hard time accepting today.


Peter was bold enough to take Jesus aside to correct what Jesus had said.  If you think about what Jesus said from Peter’s point of view, we can easily understand that it was probably very hard for Peter to accept.  I would want to ask Peter, “Who is God in this story?” 

Jesus responded to Peter’s attempt to correct Him with some very strong words.  He referred to Peter as Satan and a stumbling block.  The reference Jesus made about Satan was to emphasize that Peter’s statements would be the same statements that Satan would make.  Satan does not want us to realize the forgiveness of sins that Jesus made possible through His death on the cross.  Satan continues today to try to convince Believers (and non-Believers) that their sins are not forgiven.  Satan wants Believers to work under the law to achieve forgiveness of sins.  This is a huge lie that takes away the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. 

Finally, Jesus tells Peter that his thinking is of this world (human concerns) and not the concerns of God.  This is where Believers today need to accept the more difficult teachings of Jesus.  An example is the rich man that Jesus told him to sell all he had to achieve the kingdom of God.  Another example is the person who wanted to be a follower of Christ but only after his parents had died.  Jesus said that should not be a concern to a true follower of Christ. 

When Believers are faced with these tough teachings, it is easy to believe a lie that Satan gives us or to think using only our human concerns to assess a situation by concluding that the answer is too hard or too harsh.  Jesus said that in all circumstances, we must see things from God’s perspective.  This is a challenge that Believers live with every day of their life.  We must learn how to put God first in every situation.  Hopefully, we can improve on our response to the difficult teachings of Christ, and not be like the disciples.

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