“But Jesus, turning and looking at His disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Mark 8:33
Distraction: having one’s attention drawn away
Focus: Center of attraction
Have you ever been in serious conversation and notice the other person is either intently focused or seemingly, distracted? When someone makes eye – contact they send the signal they are really listening. But when their attention is diverted, they no longer hear.
When the Word was spoken to Jesus’ disciples concerning His death and resurrection, Peter was distracted, listening to the enemy’s take on the matter. This dissuasion was based on a misconception of God’s redemptive plan. Just minutes before this rebuke, Peter was commended for recognizing Jesus as Christ- the Redeemer. Jesus was intent in preparing His disciples for what had to take place for Him to redeem the world. (Matthew 20:18-19, Luke 24: 6-7). But one of Satan’s tactics is to distract from the Word of God, and particularly, the revelation concerning the gospel message. (Mark 4:15)
As believers, we can easily be diverted, by what others might say and especially Satan (liar). Therefore, we must look intently into the Word and accept it’s completeness, without adding or taking anything away.
(Deuteronomy 4:2, Revelation 22: 18-19)
The disciple, Peter, believed Jesus did not have to die because it was to his advantage to believe He would set-up His Kingdom some other way. Remember how on the very night of His arrest, Jesus’s disciples were arguing over who would be the greatest in the kingdom. Recall, also, how after His resurrection Jesus rebuked two confused, discouraged disciples for not knowing through scripture what the prophets had to say. Luke 24
Perhaps in our disappointments and discouragement, we have been distracted from remembering or understanding the hope of our redemption is through faith.
Our faith is given through grace by believing the gospel message – Christ died for our sins and was resurrected to give us eternal life. (1 Corinthians 15)
To add or subtract from that simple message makes void the power of the Holy Spirit to persuade – which is the hope that is within us. Any other message is the persuasion from an evil source and results in eternal punishment and death. (John 3:16, John 14:6)
Have you been distracted from the simple truth? I have many times. Which always renders spiritual immobility, fear, and stunted growth. Working one’s way into God’s Grace is a clear contradiction of the gospel that saves. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
In Zechariah 4, the Angel reveals how God saves. He says salvation does not come through man’s might or power but through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit levels the playing field so every sinner who repents and believes can be saved, both Jew and Gentile. This is the chief cornerstone (Jesus) who was rejected by most yet purposed by God. (Matthew 21:42, Matthew 16:13-20)
If you are a believer and feel condemned, I encourage you to get your eyes back on what God has said concerning your salvation. Shake the Snake and move forward. God always completes the work He begins and seals every believer in His mercy and grace. Your salvation is sealed, no one can snatch you out of His Hand.
(Ephesians 1:12-14, Philippians 1:6, John 10:28-30)
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, b God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. c And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4