Satan’s Catspaw

“Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me” (Matthew 16:23, ESV)

Peter is the only disciple who was called “Satan” by Jesus. It was the strongest rebuke ever uttered by the Lord to any of the twelve – Judas included.

Moments after Peter was commended for his confession of Jesus as the Christ of God, he was being rebuked for insisting that Jesus need not die in Jerusalem. It was an echo of the temptations Jesus endured from Satan himself (Matthew 4:1-4).

Like Peter, Satan knew Jesus was the Son of God. Like Satan, Peter encouraged Jesus to avoid the cross. Peter had become “Satan’s catspaw” (Robertson).

Continue reading “Satan’s Catspaw”

All people are acceptable to God

For around ten years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the first Christians were active in telling others about Jesus, but only to Jews. On the Day of Pentecost Peter had stated quite plainly that the good news of Jesus was “for you and your children, and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself” (Acts 2:39 NET). It was for the Jews (you and your children) and for the Gentiles (all who are far away). (In the Jewish way of thinking, they were near to God and everyone else, who were Gentiles, were far away from God.)

Although Samaritans had also been taught and had accepted the message of Jesus (see Acts 8), they were still partly of a Jewish background. Those who had no Jewish connection had yet to hear about forgiveness through Jesus. Continue reading “All people are acceptable to God”

Unworthy, but worth it

If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me (John 13:8)

I was adopted when I was about 18 months old. Was I worthy of that? How could I be? How could I have earned such an act?

Peter felt unworthy to have Jesus wash his feet. It was completely out of order for Jesus to stoop down and wash Peter’s feet. Peter was unworthy.

Jesus did it anyway. He even warned Peter not to refuse him. Continue reading “Unworthy, but worth it”

Listen to him!

The sight of the three greatest men of God on a mountaintop must have been awe inspiring at least.

Simon Peter was so overcome with the sight that he wanted to build a shelter or shrine for Moses, Elijah and Jesus and asked the Lord’s permission. Before the disciple could utter another word he was interrupted. A “bright cloud overshadowed them,” and a voice was heard from the cloud. The voice said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5 NASB). The sound of the voice was so alarming Peter, James and John fell to the ground afraid. Continue reading “Listen to him!”

Speak a good word for Jesus

One day John was standing with two of his disciples. They saw Jesus walk past, and John said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (John 1:35-36 NET). This incident took place after John immersed Jesus and after Jesus’ time of temptation in the wilderness. The previous day John had seen Jesus and identified him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” and “the Chosen One of God” (John 1:29, 34). If these two disciples had not been with John the previous day it seems that they had at least heard what he had said.

“When John’s two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus” (John 1:37). These were disciples of John. They had been travelling around with John as John preached and baptised. They would have been aware that John had identified himself as “the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord’” (John 1:23). He was the one to prepare the way for the Messiah. And now he had identified to them who the Messiah was. No wonder they were willing to leave John and begin to follow Jesus. Continue reading “Speak a good word for Jesus”

Who was Jesus?

It is hard for us, living in the age of technology, to relate to those in the past who did not have access to the instant information that we have. What would it have been like if it had taken weeks or even months to learn about 9/11? What if presidential results weren’t known for weeks and as far as listening to and analyzing the candidates debates, that would only be possible if you happened to be in town for the debate. Continue reading “Who was Jesus?”