Matthew 16:19- (2011)

Matthew 16:19-23  Some times I’m just like the devil. Always trying to save my own life, like a sheep pretending to be a heart surgeon.

16:19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosedd in heaven.” Barnes notes are very useful on this topic for me. My mind is inclined to swerve away from these verses where Jesus pulls Peter aside. I’m hesitant because I know I’m repelled by the typical Catholic denominational exegeses on these verses which they use to institute the papacy. Barnes informs: Keys are used for opening doors, and that’s exactly what Peter does in Acts 2, when he preaches the gospel and opens the doors of the kingdom of God to all who will hear. Like verse 17, here Jesus is prophesying of Peters honor to come. Such a thing will be good for us to consider after we read him deny Jesus three times, and much more so helpful for Peter to consider after his dishonorable deed, to remember the words of Jesus prophesying about the day he would open the doors to the Kingdom of heaven.
Jesus goes on to say whatever you bind… and whatever you loose… (Hebrew idiom meaning; whatever you dis/allow). This statement is obviously not meant just for Peter because Jesus says this to the whole group of dicsiples in Matthew 18:18

16:20Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection 21From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. I can remember when I was younger I often read verses like verse 20 and wondered why Jesus was concealing his true identity as Christ, the son of God. He shuts the demons up that say it. He tells those he’s healed to keep quite. He tells his disciples here not to tell anyone that he is the Christ. Verse 21 gives some in-site. Jesus is thinking about his death. He knows that the time he is pronounces himself as God to the Jewish authorities – he will be arrested and killed in a matter of hours. Just talking about it erks me and I can sympathize with Peters mistake in the next verse.

16:22And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord!e This shall never happen to you.” 23But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrancef to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” This verse has gone down as one of my memory verses. The first time I read it I just laughed as I sympathized with Peter and wondered at Jesus sudden outburst of anger. A second ago he was telling Peter that he was a rock and on him he will build his church. Now Jesus calls Peter, “Satan”. What’s with the radical change in attitude. This time reading it, I put my shock aside as I continued to read after Jesus’ name calling. “For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” I’m reminded of the Garden of Eden. The serpent comes to tempt Eve in Genesis 3. Adam and Eve begin to think about their own glory, rather than God’s. I doubt that either Adam or Eve were feeling hatred toward God as they looked at the fruit. Rather, they probably had simply forgotten God as their hearts and minds were filled with a desire for selfish satisfaction and glorification. They forgot God’s goodness, his trustworthiness, his providence, his sovereignty. They stopped caring about God, and for the first time in their lives, they decided that their was something extra they wanted, that God hadn’t given them. They thought they knew better than God. That God’s providence alone was not enough. They thought God’s plan was second rate compared to their new plan as revealed by the serpent.
Peter does the same thing; when he hears Jesus talking about persecution and even death, Peter rebukes him. Peter thinks he is protecting Jesus by saying “I will never let this happen to you.” It’s cute, he thinks he’s showing love by offering his protection. But how can a lamb protect a shepherd as attacks the a lion prowling the flock? Peter’s small love is blocking the light of the Father’s BIG love. Peter doubts God’s ability to care for and provide EVERYTHING needed. He feels as if he needs to add something extra to equation for it to be complete. “No Jesus! Death is uncomfortable. It is weakness. Death is failing. You have poured your life out in ministry. I have poured my life into you. You can’t die–you’re too important to me.” in other words It is more important for me have you in my hands that to submit to the Father’s will which will eventually lead to having you in my heart, and having me in your Kingdom.
When a soldier goes to battle he must invision victory. He paints a picture of freedom in his mind to give him motivation. Likewise, he paints his enemy in dark bleak colours as to eliminate any confusion as to who he is fighting and why. As Jesus looks down the barrel at his crucifixion he reminds himself of the coming victory. He sees Peter and the disciples. They keep sinning but he loves them, they are not the enemy, they are the ones he is dying to free. Even the pharisees–his death will offer freedom to them as well. Who is the enemy? Sin, and Satan who loves to make people sin. He hates sin. After honouring Peter, one of whom he is fighting to buy freedom for, Peter up and protests against God’s plan for freedom. At this time, Jesus will not allow any confusion. “NO PETER! DON’T SPEAK THOSE WORDS–those are the words I hear from the enemy! It is the enemy telling me that God’s will is not good for me. It is the enemy who tells me God’s power is not enough. It is the enemy that tells me to protect myself apart from the Father. It is the enemy that wants me to believe that death is failure. But God cares about me, and you and he desires to free this world. The enemy doesn’t care about God, but only himself. He doesn’t care about protecting those the father loves, those I love. 

The most important thing is Satan’s life is his life. By stopping me from going to the cross you are showing that the most important thing in your life is your life. But by humbling myself on the cross, submitting to the Father, I am declaring my life is subject to the will of God. And I know God’s will is good.

PETER! Don’t let yourself become confused about whose team your on. Do you care more about your life or God’s will. If you care more about your life–you will die, because you can’t have life without God – who is the provider of life. But if you submit yourself to God, the provider of life–even death will not conquer you. If you are dead, you can’t give life to yourself. But if you are God’s you can’t lack anything.

Father. All the time I set my mind on the things of man, rather than the things of God. All the time I’m driven by the fear of losing my life. Even losing my standard of living. I feel like a hate that term now; standard of living. What is Christ’s standard of living, but, to submit everything to the father – even death. And I know Christ lacks nothing.
Make me better Lord. Heal my of my unbelief. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. I hate my compulsive self protection. I want to die. I want to die. I want to die so that I might be free from the pressure to keep myself alive. Show me how to die Lord. Show me how to give my life away. I want to have EVERYTHING, just as you have everything. I am a man on survival mode. You are God whose storehouses are eternal. Break my legs. Put me in the furnace. I care…   I want to care more about receiving your life, than protecting mine.


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