Tag Archives: Matthew 16

Who Do You Say I Am

As I prepare for the “What Jesus Said: The Red Letter Series,” I have been intensely studying the words of Jesus. The first study of the series is about what Jesus says about Jesus. There are more “red letters” than I first thought; it has been an awesome time of prayer and study. In Matthew 16, we read about Jesus asking the disciples who Jesus is. After spending weeks pouring myself over what Jesus said about Jesus, I found myself spending a lot of time on this passage that shares Peter’s thoughts.

Who did Peter say Jesus was? He answers, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Peter basically says that Jesus was the One sent by God, the Deliverer, and also that Jesus was the Son of God. Wow! He got it! Jesus said he was blessed. In understanding this, Peter was considered the rock. Yet reading further, we find Peter is called “Satan” for not grasping God’s divine plan. Eventually Peter gets it. Yes, it was after he denied Jesus three times. But he gets it. One day he grasps Who this Messiah, the Son of the living God truly is, and his life totally changes.

What do you say about Jesus? Who is Jesus to you? Because this says a lot about you and about your life. It is true—you do not define Who Jesus is. Your words do not make Him any different; your words don’t change Jesus. Even so, Who you think Jesus is changes you—it can be the difference of life and death, the difference to living bread or spiritual bankruptcy.  Who you think Jesus is may decide who you follow, who you worship, and for who you live. Who you think Jesus is determines how you live your life and what matters most to you. Who you think Jesus is makes the difference of peace that is beyond understand, joy that is overwhelming and overflowing. Today, write down Who Jesus is to you. Is He your everything? Is He the Son of God? Is He the Son of Man? Is He the Messiah? Is He the Living Bread? Is He the Light of the world? Is He the Christ? Is He your Redeemer? Is He Lord of the Sabbath? Who is Jesus to you? Then take a step forward, studying His Word and praying each day, and allow Him to continue to reveal Himself to you in new and awesome ways. Then add to the “Who Jesus is” list. May you spend your life getting to know Jesus—it will be a life well-spent.

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” – Matthew 16:13-17 [NIV]

 

Get Behind Me

Once as I was reading Matthew 16 aloud, my daughter advised me that verse 23 was her new favorite verse. In this verse, we read, “Get behind me, Satan,” which she thought would be a great thing to say to Satan to tell him to back off. There was a brief pause after she spoke, and then I advised her that Jesus was not even talking to Satan; he was talking to Peter. She was amazed. Why was Peter called Satan?

Yes, Jesus spoke like this to Satan as well. When we look at Matthew 4, we read of Jesus’ time in the Wilderness. After the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit led Him into the Wilderness. Satan tempted Him in three different ways, each way resulting in a response with God’s Word. Satan tempted Him with power, prestige, possessions, and pleasure – the same temptations we face. When He was tempted to bow down and worship Satan, He responded, “Be gone, Satan,” which sounds a lot like, “Get behind me, Satan.”

The reason Peter heard these harsh words, “get behind me, Satan,” was because he was speaking about going against God’s Divine plan. Jesus had just spoken about what was to come—His death—and Peter was against this plan. When Peter heard what Jesus said, his response was “far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you” (v. 22 ESV). He couldn’t understand what needed to be done, and when he rejected God’s plan, he became a stumbling block.

When I read today’s verse, I consider Jesus speaking this to you and I as we reject the plans of God. Are there moments when we become a stumbling block? Are there moments when Jesus is saying to us, “Get behind me, Satan,” because we are not walking the course set before us? Let us continue to dig deeper into His Word, to walk closely with Jesus, constant in prayer, so that we can keep our steps aligned on the path of God’s plan, and by doing so, may we never be a stumbling block to God’s plan.

“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 [ESV]

“Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”” – Matthew 4:10 [ESV]