Even Jesus Could Stumble

After Jesus feeds the four thousand in Matthew 16, He is talking to the disciples and begins to explain to them the plan to go to Jerusalem, suffer, and raise from the dead after three days. Peter comes in what looks like love and tells Jesus that they can’t let that happen. But Jesus says that it’s Satan and its a stumbling block to Him because its worried about human concerns, not God’s concerns.

What a blow to Peter this must have been! But what is going on with this? Obviously Peter isn’t possessed by Satan. But He is listening to Satan and speaking His words, which are disguised as love. Peter was fooled by it, and became a temptation to Jesus to take the easier way out.

Two things I see here. One, Satan will convince us that his way is the way of love, and God’s way is a crazy punishment to be avoided. We have to walk carefully and not just trust our emotions and first impulses to show what we think is “love” to others. It might be an evil plan. God doesn’t fear pain. He embraces it and uses it to heal. Don’t try to pull people from pain all the time. Peter’s reply should have been more along the lines of “I will follow you, even if you leave me”. Instead it was “You can’t go”.

Second, Jesus didn’t want to die. It was tempting to tell Peter “Ok, I’ll stay”. But He is so focused on God’s plan verses His fears, it scares Him and angers Him. What am I afraid of obeying in today? Jesus understands. He has stood in the shoes of someone struggling to obey.