PROMOTE THE WILL OF GOD
Date: December 26
Category: God's Plans
"For you do not have a mind intent on promoting what God wills, but what pleases men [you are not on God's side, but that of men]"
These are very harsh words that Jesus, our beloved Lord, spoke to Peter. Peter was one of the most outspoken disciples. As we read the gospels, we can see that Peter was often the one who would speak up first. That often got him into trouble. In this case, Peter said something that resulted in Jesus rebuking him. At the time, Jesus was teaching His disciples who He was, that He was more than just a man. He was the Christ, the Messiah, and the Anointed One. The disciples easily connected Jesus with the messages of the Messiah in the Old Testament. Then as Jesus continued to teach them, He connected Himself with the messages of the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53).
That was something that the disciples had a hard time connecting together. They could not understand how the Messiah, the King of Glory, and the Supreme Commander could also be the Suffering Servant. But that was exactly who Jesus was. As Jesus was teaching them this, Peter, who was brought up in the Jewish culture, was not ready to receive that revelation. So instead of embracing what Jesus was teaching, he spoke against it. In verse 32b we read, "And Peter took Him by the hand and led Him aside and then [facing Him] began to rebuke Him." In other words, Peter wanted Jesus to turn away from His purpose.
All of the purposes of God in Jesus would not have been accomplished if Jesus had listened to Peter. If Jesus did not suffer and die on the cross of Calvary, then our sins would not have been forgiven. The purpose of Jesus would not have been fulfilled. So the words that Peter spoke were completely contrary to the will of God. Anything that is contrary to the will of God is from Satan. That's why in verse 33a we read, "But turning around [His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get behind Me, Satan!" Jesus wasn't referring to Peter as Satan. He was rebuking the words of Satan that came out through Peter's mouth.
It's interesting that this was a disciple of Jesus Christ. Peter was one of the three closest disciples to Jesus and one who would become a leader of the Church after Jesus left the earth. Yet out of his mouth came words from Satan. This shows that the devil can use any one of us to speak his plans. That's why we are to fill our hearts with the Word of God, which is the will of God. When our hearts are full of God's Word, then that Word will come out through our mouths (Matthew 12:34b). In this case, Jesus recognized Satan's plan by the words that Peter spoke. That's why He rebuked him.
Then in verse 33b we read, "For you do not have a mind intent on promoting what God wills, but what pleases men [you are not on God's side, but that of men]." So Peter did not have the intention of promoting the will of God. Instead, he was thinking of pleasing men. That's a very dangerous mindset to have. Whenever we have the intent of pleasing people and not God, then we are headed for trouble. But whenever we focus on God instead of focussing on people, then we prove the will of God in our lives.
Think of David, for example. When he had to face Goliath, he didn't focus on Goliath. He didn't even focus on the people. He focussed on God's ability to deliver Goliath into his hands. That's why he was victorious. That's why we should always be focussing on God and promoting His will. In everything that we do, we are to do it in a way that will please God. So let us be people who have an intention to promote the will of God in our lives and let us prove that intention by the words that we speak, the choices that we make, and the actions that we take.