“And you Peter. Who do you say that I am?”
Master, you are the Christ, the promised son of David, the King; you are the Messiah that we have awaited since the Prophets have foretold your coming!”
“Wow Peter! Well done! God has revealed this to you! And you are right!”
“What do you mean Jesus!!!” Cried Peter. “They will kill you!?! Oh no! What will we do!?! Lord, while I have breath they will not take you! We will fight for you; we will hide you until this all blows over! They won’t kill you!”
“Oh Peter,” Jesus said. “Get behind me Satan! You just don’t get it. Don’t you know this is my cup to drink? Do you not know this is the will of my Father. Do you not know this is ‘good’?
I feel like I know you so well. Big heart that trumps the brain more often than not. How you loved Jesus! What an amazing experience to have God reveal to you the Messiah. How hurt and silly you must have felt moments later when your beloved says ‘Get behind me Satan’. You have to know He was not speaking to you as such. He was not saying you were Satan. Must have been confusing and pretty hurtful at the time. After all, you meant well. You loved Jesus so much; you just received revelation of who He really was, who sent Him, and you stood to lose Him. You know, I probably would have done the same thing. Oh in hindsight it’s so easy to see but I understand in the moment it’s not so clear. One of those times where good isn’t God. One of those times where good is the enemy of God. Sounds like a strange statement re-reading it. Isn’t God good? Absolutely! Then what happened? Peter, I am only beginning to get this and I expect you and Jesus probably had a heart to heart about it later. But I am learning that my ways aren’t His ways. Funny though’ because my ways seem so right. So practical, logical, do-able.
I am learning that my ways; my judgements are just that – mine. They are rooted in my experience, my opinion, my outward analysis of the situation and often what will make me feel good in the moment. The root of this my friend is my own pride. It’s so true! I am learning that when I judge on my own, I am exerting my lordship over the situation. I understand that as eating from the tree of the knowledge of the good and evil. I am morally independent of God – the root of all sin is this pride. When Adam & Eve ate of this fruit they saw their nakedness and deemed it as bad, shameful when if it truly were, God wouldn’t have called it good, and He would have provided clothing. I see the law so differently now and can agree that it was good as it was a righteous basis for His people who were cursed by being morally independent of Him to walk uprightly. A foundation for judging good and evil.
Peter, I so often flew over Jesus when He said, that He does not judge on His own but based upon what the Father says. He explained it so clearly. He said we judge by outward appearance but God knew the heart of every situation and really the only one who could make a righteous judgement. Funny thing Peter, I said, “amen” each time I read this. The filthy rotten Pharisees anyways! I now realize the leaven of the Pharisees is very easily a part of my life too! All this to say, that I am incapable of making a righteous judgements apart from the Father. I still do it. I still judge situations, people and I am wrong. Don’t get me wrong Peter, I am pious about it! My judgements, good or evil, all have ‘WWJD’ stickers on them. Just like you Peter, often my best, my opinion, my good can be just as opposed to God as the evil that I do. Just wanted to write you this note. I so appreciate you and your life. Thanks for living it for Jesus. Thanks for not quitting.