Gospel for Today – Reflection on Matthew 16:22
But he turned, and said to Peter, Get you behind me, Satan: you are an offense to me: for you mind not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. – Matthew 16:22
When thepredicted to His disciples His own death and resurrection, Peter relied upon his kindness and dissuaded Him from going to the cross. In our view, Peter didn’t want the Lord Jesus to be crucified out of kindness. But how did Lord Jesus view this? God's words say, “When the Lord Jesus was about to be crucified, what did Peter say? (‘Be it far from you, Lord: this shall not be to you’ (Mat 16: 22).) Did Peter have the true belief when he said these things? (No.) What is this called? This is man’s good intention, and this is called interrupting. Where did his good intention come from? (His own will.) Why was he able to manifest this kind of self-will? He had a point of view. What point of view? He didn’t understand God’s will, didn’t understand what ministry the Lord Jesus had come to do. His understanding of the Lord Jesus was limited to a kind of good intention and protection. It was ‘a little bit of affection’ and ‘a little bit of protection’ that people would say, which was, ‘This absolutely cannot befall You! You must not go to suffer that pain! If someone has to suffer it then let me suffer it. I will suffer it in Your place.’ He didn’t know God’s will, and he came up with some good intention from his own will, wishing to prevent this event from happening. So how can we describe his way of doing things? What brought it about? Firstly, it was brought about by his hot blood, his will and his not understanding. Secondly, did he have a true belief in God? (No.) If he didn’t have the true belief in God, how could he have this good intention? Did his good intention come from the truth? Was it a kind of good deed? (No.) Then at the very least he was good-willed, and he was well-intentioned and he showed his sincerity, right? (Yes.) So what was the nature of his way of doing things? Was it a kind of behavior, a way of doing things that arose from the true belief? (No.) You see it clearly now; it absolutely wasn’t. Was it a kind of conviction? What is a conviction? Discuss about it using this matter—what is meant by ‘conviction’? (It means ideas that come from man himself.) (Conceptual things.) It is one’s own concepts, imagination and will. It is having a kind of good yearning, good desires; it is the things that people think of as good, positive and active, it is something that is to people’s taste, that conforms to people’s concepts and to people’s sentiments; it is a kind of good will, a kind of good thinking, a good way of doing things, a kind of good motivation—this is what is meant by ‘conviction.’ It is not the true belief; this is 100 percent certain.”
From God’s words we can see those who don’t have truerely on their own will and good intentions to do things. And thus they can easily be Satan’s outlet interrupting and disturbing the work of God. God’s work is done by Himself and is unfathomable to man. Whether crucifixion comes upon the Lord Jesus is determined by the Lord: The Lord allows it to happen then it happens; the Lord doesn’t allow it to happen then it shall not happen. The occurrence, development and outcome of all the people, things and events are determined by God, not by man.
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