Read Matthew 16:13-23
Mindful of the Things of God, or Men?
Confusion abounds when it comes to the identity of Jesus. Before He “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), many Jews assumed the Messiah would be born into a prominent family and lead them militarily against the oppression of the Romans. When He arrived, the confusion about who He was remained, as seen in Matthew 16:14. Even today, He is acknowledged by some religious groups as a prophet or a good man, or even a god (though created, not eternal).
What is the truth of the matter? Who is Jesus? Peter stated it clearly: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus affirmed that Peter’s answer was correct, and it was this profession upon which Christ would build His church – that which had been purposed from the beginning (Ephesians 3:10-11) and about which holy men of God had prophesied (Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 2:44).
Jesus then told His disciples that He would be arrested, killed, and three days later, raised again. Peter objected, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (Matthew 16:22). The apostle went from declaring the Messiahship of Jesus, the Son of God, to telling Him that He was wrong.
How often do we tell God that He is wrong about something? When we read in the Scriptures about the establishment of the church, do we object and listen instead to denominational leaders who claim the church was a part of a backup plan? When we read in the Scriptures about entrance into the church via baptism into Christ, do we object and listen instead to men who claim baptism has nothing to do with salvation, and that a person must be voted into the church’s membership?
Believe what the Bible reveals. Do not object to the words of the Lord, lest He say to you, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:23).