Nudges | People Nudges | Temptation
But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23
You’ve probably been called a name or two, but have you ever been called “Satan?” And by Jesus, no less! As harsh as those words may sound to us, it’s worth looking at them more closely because Jesus never said things He didn’t mean or used words to wound. So since He always chose His words carefully, He wants us to learn something from His response to Peter. While Peter thought he was expressing conviction and loyalty, Jesus heard something else in Peter’s words. And what He heard will make a difference for us when we learn to hear it too.
What Jesus recognized in Peter’s words was temptation. Peter did not realize he was being used by Satan to tempt Jesus, but Jesus knew the cross lay ahead and He deeply dreaded it. Satan had already suggested (unsuccessfully) that Jesus find an easier way to redeem humanity (Luke 4:1-12), and here it came again. Temptation. This time through Peter. Temptation is an offer to satisfy our flesh outside of God’s will. Jesus saw it for what it was and rejected it. We need to do that too. When the advice of friends and family contradicts the plan of God for our lives, we must see it for what it is and reject it. We don’t need to call people “Satan,” but we do need to recognize moral or spiritual compromise when we hear it. Jesus showed us how.
Final Thought: Do you know God’s word well enough to recognize Satan’s temptation and reject it?
Prayer: Father, I’m always looking for an easier, more comfortable way. But that’s not always your way. I want to be like Jesus in spotting temptation, even when it comes from a friend. May I do nothing that takes me off your path. In Jesus’ name, Amen.