Saturday 9 April 2022

No Chocolate Eggs And Bunnies

 

Matthew 16:21-23

From that time on Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. “Far be it from You, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to You!”

But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me. For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

As often happened, Peter was the one to speak first. He takes Jesus aside and tries to stop Him from saying that He would be killed. Jesus says the memorable phrase, "Get behind Me, Satan".

As we approach Holy Week, let us consider for a moment this passage from Matthew's Gospel and what it means for us.

Jesus is not accusing Peter of being Satan. He is pointing out that the way Peter is thinking is the way that humans think, no doubt, often, influenced by Satan. This is very significant for us.

There is no possible way that we can think like God; because we are not God, we are not Jesus. We cannot love like God, or forgive like God. The sin of Adam and Eve was not that they ate a forbidden fruit; it was that they wanted to be like God. They were influenced by Satan in their thinking.

So was Peter influenced by Satan at this moment in time when Jesus told His disciples what must have seemed as terrible horrific news. He was going to be killed. Their leader and master for so long, the one they had put their faith and trust in, was going to be killed. They could not see beyond, Christ's death, they could not see the Resurrection and what it meant, because they were thinking like humans. 

And so are we, sometimes, often, influenced by Satan in the way we think, act and do. He is clever that way. He knows us well and knows how to tempt us and influence us to his way of thinking. After all, Satan tempted Jesus, so we should not be much of a challenge to him.  

He seeks out a weakness in our character and plays on that. It may be a temptation for something or other, a fear of something or someone, a hesitation and a doubting in our faith, and Satan uses this as a way to lead us astray.

Unlike in the times of Jesus, the devil no longer needs to possess people as we read in the Bible. Although he can do so and he does.

These days he is much more subtle. If he were to possess people it would frighten the **** out of us and we'd all go running to Jesus' arms for protection. Somewhat self-defeating a strategy for Satan to use. So he tempts us instead. He makes us think like humans. And uses our own broken fallen character as a weapon against us.

That's what Jesus meant when He called Peter "Satan".

He did not accuse him of being the devil, but that he was thinking like a human and as such he was susceptible to the devil's influence.

" ... but deliver us from the Evil One." (Matthew 6:9-13)

29 comments:

  1. "He makes us think like humans." Which is something we already do anyway, since we can't think like God. Right?
    Better to say He preys on our weaknesses, in my opinion.

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  2. Dearest Victor,
    So well phrased, as always!
    Yes, there are daily examples on the news from this world we all live in. The Devil EXISTS and is powerful.
    May God deliver us from the Evil One!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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  3. ...what, no chocolate eggs or bunnies?

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  4. Thankjyou for this clarification, Victor. Many times in the small hours before dawn, I'll wake up rehashing all sorts of worries -- and will say, "Get behind me, Satan!" (alternately, "Get OUT!") Yes, the devil is roaming freely.

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    Replies
    1. The devil always finds a time when we're at our weakest, Mevely. Tired perhaps, or unwell because of illness, hunger or overwork; that's when he preys on our minds. Also, when people are unaware of him and don't even believe that he exists.

      God bless you always.

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  5. The temptations of this world have only expanded in these modern days, giving Satan a treasure trove of things with which to lead us astray. I think it's in James that we are told to stand up against Satan's wiles, and he will flee from us.
    Let's keep our eyes fixed on Jesus!
    Blessings, Victor!

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    Replies
    1. The world has become materialist because, I believe, people have very little to look forward to. They work like crazy to accumulate things that they don't even need but just want. Past generations did not have so many temptations because a lot of them had not been invented, and were really not necessities in their lives.

      God bless, Martha.

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  6. Good read for this time of the year, and good stuff for the entire year.
    ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much my friends Jack & Sherry.

      God bless.

      Delete
  7. I loved my mother’s attitude toward material things. They did not matter to her, because her focus was firmly placed on Jesus and family. I try to live up to that, but I often fail. Let us all strive to focus on the important things in this crazy messed world of ours. Have a blest Holy Week, Victor

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    Replies
    1. Amen Nells, you said it so well. Wishing you a blessed Holy Week.

      God bless you and yours.

      Delete
  8. He tempts us to think like fallen humans, instead of letting our thoughts be guided by the Holy Spirit.

    Your points are excellent as always.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Mimi, for your kindness to me.

      God bless.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. I'm intrigued, Willie. The article "A Horror Movie" has not yet been published. What has appeared on your computer feed? Thanx.

      God bless.

      Delete
  10. HeHe! I was going to make up something
    silly to say..but..l would'nt lie to
    you..Not! On Palm Sunday..!

    When l switched on first thing, you
    were at the top of my sidebar..saying
    'A Horror Movie'..
    It's not the first time it's happened,
    it's happened before from other Blogs..!
    HeHe! Don't ask me how..?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanx so much, Willie. I'll ask my techie how this happened and why. So you did not open the link I take it? I can't understand why your sidebar warned you that I was publishing a post with this title.

      I hope to post about "Horror Movie" tomorrow; if my computer will let me.

      Many thanx. God bless.

      Delete
    2. Oh! No! It did'nt open the link,
      it does'nt on any of the others
      either..!
      As it's the title of your Blog
      that appears on the side bar,
      it would open to that link, and
      the post that is currently on
      your Blog..and not the title
      displayed..!

      Delete
    3. Thank you Willie. My techie understands what has happened. Hopefully my Horror Movie post will be published tomorrow.

      God bless always.

      Delete

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