“But He turned and told Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s.’” (Matthew 16:13-28 CSB)
Seemingly just moments earlier Jesus commended Peter for his “good confession.” Peter at least had enough spiritual discernment that he could receive a revelation from God that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. When Jesus began to explain the suffering, death, and resurrection that was ahead for Him, however, Peter rebuked Jesus and swore that he would never let that happen. Then came a stinging rebuke from Jesus, showing that Peter was on the way but not there yet, in terms of his understanding of Messiah.
Peter’s response shows that the focus of his thoughts was all on man, on earthly ways, on the restoration of the Davidic kingdom in Israel. His thinking was at least related to the Lord’s, but it was focused on man. Jesus pointed out that “the things of God,” that is, the purposes of God are the real priority. Everything else serves that.
Humanism exalts mankind. Nothing is higher than man in humanistic thinking, and it places mankind at the very center of the universe and causes everything to revolve around humankind. Because we are human, we all have a tendency to think that it’s all about us. The reality is far different, however. The universe is all about God. Humanity is part of His creation. That is not to minimize us, of course, because God did, after all, send His Son to suffer and die for us, and be raised from the dead, to point us in His direction, so that we might have the opportunity for eternal life. Yet, the fact remains: It is all about Him. He is central to all else.
May this day be all about Him rather than us. May it allow us the privilege of bringing honor and glory to our God.
The writer of Hebrews issued a challenge in 13:13: “Let us then go to Him outside the camp, bearing His disgrace.” As the One who sacrificed Himself for us, Jesus died outside the city walls on the cross and was resurrected as well outside the city walls. The call of God is thus to go to Him outside our comfort zone and follow Him. Not humanism, but discipleship is the call of God to us.
Lord, Help us to understand the truth that everything that exists is all about You. Amen.