“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” – John 10:27
When Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was Peter said that He was the Son of the Living God. Jesus blessed Peter and told him that this revelation came from God. Peter recognised God’s voice in the midst of all the voices who thought that Jesus was John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets.
Then, when Jesus told the disciples what was going to happen—His persecution and trials and His death and resurrection, Peter rebuked Him. Jesus recognised that the devil was trying to contradict Him. This is an example of how the devil tries to prevent us from following God’s plan for each of our lives and how he uses those close to us.
Peter heard God’s voice telling that Jesus was the Christ, His son. And Christ means “anointed” or “chosen one” in Greek. Christ in Hebrew means “Messiah.” Jesus was God’s chosen one to bring salvation to His people and the only way this could happen was for Jesus to die on the cross. Then, He would be raised to life. This was God’s plan. But, then, Peter heard a conflicting message—one that was a direct contradiction to God’s word. It was contradicting what the prophets wrote.
Everything Jesus said about what would be become of Him was written in the scriptures. He said that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. He was flogged, spat on, mocked and rejected by the people who did not believe that He was the Messiah. (John 12:37-50) To rebuke Jesus, is to rebuke the scriptures—the word of God. This is an example of how to discern God’s voice from the devil’s. God would never contradict Himself. Everything Jesus said came from God. (John 8:25-30, John 12:49-50).
Basically, what the devil was saying through Peter was, “Your plan will not work. You’re wasting Your time.” This speaks of our failure to see the big picture—things from God’s perspective rather than our limited one. In that instant, Peter was thinking like man instead of like God and forgetting that with God, all things are possible. God’s desire was to have His son come to earth and live among us, teach us what we need to know about Him and how to live spiritually. Then, Jesus would take on our sins, die on the cross, which is a symbol of God’s love for us and our salvation and then rise from the dead.
God’s plan was to forgive us our sins and show us that there is life after death. He wanted us to know that we were saved and no longer enslaved by sin. Jesus was sent into the world to defeat sin and remove the punishment of sin. When we sin and confess our sins, God forgives us. This is what the devil was trying to prevent. He tried to tempt Jesus who came into the world to restore what the devil had destroyed.
Jesus came to teach us the truth—that there is a God who loves us and wants us to trust and believe in Him and who would save us from our sins and protect us from evil. Satan deceives and destroys while God saves and protects. God wants us to know that we can resist the devil through His strength, His power. He knows that we would be tempted as Jesus was and lied to as Peter was when he told Jesus that He would not fulfil God’s plan. Satan wants to give the impression that God doesn’t love us enough to willingly sacrifice His Son’s life to pay for our sins once and for all. But the Cross says differently.