The Path Satan Cannot Walk
Scripture Reading — Mark 8:31-9:1
"Get behind me, Satan! ... You do not have in mind the things of God ..." Mark 8:33 —
It's natural for us to want to protect the people we love. I remember losing track of one of our young daughters in a crowd one day--an intense feeling of panic rose within me. We'll do anything for the people we love most.
Sometimes, though, we can stand in the way when we're trying to help the ones we love. That's what Peter does when he reacts to Jesus' talk about the suffering and death that lies before him. Peter is intensely upset, and he rebukes Jesus for talking this way.
To our surprise (and Peter's, I'm sure!), Jesus responds with a rebuke of his own. Even worse, Jesus doesn't just admonish Peter; he speaks directly to Satan, whose ideas Peter is voicing. Peter doesn't yet have enough faith to see that the way of Jesus involves the laying down of our lives. And Satan takes advantage of Peter's emotional meltdown to try to sidetrack Jesus' mission. Satan tries to get Jesus to avoid the path of pain and to seek glory instead.
But Jesus won't be budged. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 8:9, "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich."
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Lord Jesus, thank you for your faithful obedience in going to the cross for us. Help us to withstand the devil's temptations and follow you with faith and obedience. Amen.