Matthew 16:23

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mid the things of God, but the things of man.”

You can only go as high as the people around you. John Maxwell in his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth said that in order to keep growing we need to hang with people that are “larger” than we are.

People with integrity. People who are positive. People who are ahead of us professionally. People who lift us up instead of knocking us down. People who take the high road never the low. And above all else, people who are growing.

They should be like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, whose question to each other whenever they met was, “what have you learned since we last met?”

My friend Monte Campbell often says, “Even on our best days we could be working for the devil.” It depends upon what’s on your mind. Peter was one of Jesus’ closest disciples. Jesus had just commended Peter for his faith in recognizing Jesus as Messiah. Jesus told Peter that on his confession of faith he would build his church. Then later on in the same chapter Jesus turns to Peter and says, “Satan I rebuke you!” Had Jesus changed his mind about Peter? No….he still believed in Peter but it was Peter that changed his mindset. You can go from being positive to negative real quick if you don’t watch your mindset. What’s on your mind?

Why did Jesus rebuke Peter so harshly?

  1. His mind was set on a human agenda not God’s agenda. Jesus had revealed to his disciples that it was time for him to go to Jerusalem to die. He had been teaching them this for three years but either they didn’t understand or they didn’t want to believe it. Our minds must be set on God’s agenda not ours. Our mindset should be on sacrifice not convenience.
  2. Peter abandoned his faith and got into his fear. When we are threatened with what is going on around us it can affect what’s in us. But faith is when you use what’s in you to face what’s around you. Novelist James Baldwin commented, “not every thing that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
  3. Peter was willing to forfeit the mission to save his own life rather than giving his life for the mission. Jesus said, “he who tries to save his life for his own sake will lose it but he who loses his life for the sake of the kingdom shall find life.

Dear God,

Today help me to have the right mindset. Don’t allow me to be a stumbling block to your mission but help me to be a stepping-stone to those around me. Help me to be positive and not negative. Help my mind to be set on everything that is good and possible. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

In Jesus Name,