“FROM DISCIPLE TO SATAN”                             Pastor YAU

Matthew 16:21-23; Isaiah 55:8 -9.                       August 22, 2004

 

INTRODUCTION:  There are many things in the Bible that are difficult to understand. One of them is the acts of God.  Many of the things God did in the Bible are way out of human capacity to understand.  That’s why He said: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declared the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts,” the Scriptures quoted above is an event that explains this truth: Jesus foretold His upcoming death and Peter’s opposition to the idea.

 

JESUS MUST DIE: THE WISDOM OF GOD.

1)      He must die because of the sins of men. “For the wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23) “The law requires that everything be cleaned with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrew 9:22)

2)      He must die to fulfill the righteousness of God. “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of their fathers to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 20:5) The Lord God will not leave sin unpunished. (Exodus 34:7)

3)      Jesus must die to fulfill the prophecy in the Old Testament. (Isaiah 53) This is what God had planned and it is how it must happen.

4)      If Jesus did not die, all His ministries, the teaching, the miracles, the healing, etc. will not fulfill His mission: “To seek and save the sinners of the world.”

5)      Jesus must first die and be raised from the dead to defeat the power of Satan and death. His resurrection will then provide the foundation of salvation for all men. (Romans 5:25)

 

JESUS MUST NOT DIE: THE WISDOM OF MAN.

1)      If Jesus is dead, how could a dead man be the Savior of the world?

2)      If Jesus could not save His own life, how could he save the lives of others?(Matt. 27:38-43)

3)      Since Jesus has raised the dead to life, and if He is dead, who will raise Him from death to life?

All these and other thoughts are of man. Man reasons the consequences of life and death of Jesus, and the conclusion is: He must NOT die. Peter, and possibly all the other disciples, could not understand why must Jesus die. So, as the spokesman of the group, Peter raised his objection to the plan of death.

 

THE FOOLISHNESS OF HUMAN WISDOM:

       Peter did not just raise an opposition, he rebuked Jesus of His plan to die. What is wrong with his seemingly good intention?

1)      Peter, and many of us, cares only the interest of man instead of the interest of God, (16:23), and that is the basis of the wrong of man.

2)      Peter, even after following Jesus for so long, still did not fully understand the mission of Jesus. The blind-spot of men may hinder the plans of God in many things and many ways.  We need to be careful to assume we know it all about God and His wisdom. Be careful and less assertive is a better approach.

3)      Peter virtually rebuked Jesus of His plan. He thought he has a better plan, less painful, less suffering but will achieve same results. Foolish pride is a stumbling block to many things we try to do God’s work.

4)      Peter did not have the patience to listen to ALL that Jesus had to say. Jesus did not just predict His upcoming death, He also predicted His resurrection on the third day. Peter jumped into conclusion before he fully knew what the full plan of God was. That is another human foolishness.

5)      Unintentionally Peter was being used as an instrument of Satan to block the plan of God in saving the men of the world.  Since he was one of the closest to Jesus, he may have the most possibility in averting God’s plan.  Those of us who think we are closest to the Lord, to His teaching in the Bible, need to be humble and seek the guidance of God before we jump into using the wisdom of man.

 

CONCLUSION:  How and where we set our mind, place our interest or focus on our human wisdom may have serious consequence in doing God’s work, living our lives or serving Him in His church. Always be humble to seek His will, ask His direction, be slow to jump into conclusion, and be honest and humble to repent when we over step the boundary of authority of God.