As Humans Do

8 Aug

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord!  No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”  (Mt 16:21-23)

How awful.

Can you imagine how you would feel if Jesus said to you, “You are an obstacle to me”?

In the Gospel, Peter had just been commended by Jesus for the answer that he gave to Jesus on the way to Caesarea Philippi:  “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

How could one be so right in one moment and so wrong in the next?

Quite simple, actually.

For, the “Christ” that Peter had imagined was going to be an anointed one that would rally all of Israel against Rome so that Rome could be defeated and the people of Israel could live their lives and their faith as they chose.

That was not the kind of Christ that Jesus knew Himself to be, however.

So, when Jesus said that He would go to Jerusalem to be handed over to evil men, condemned, and put to death, Peter became very agitated and told Jesus that he hoped that would never happen.

If it did not happen, however, Jesus would not be able to save His people.

Peter’s wish became an obstacle to the Lord’s plan for salvation history.

How many times do our words and our actions threaten to thwart the Lord’s will for our world and our lives?

FAITH ACTION:  Slowly and reflectively, pray the Our Father.  When you pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done”, make sure that you mean it.