August 29

Matthew 16:21-23

“But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’” vs. 23

Peter likely felt honored to have been elevated to the position of “messianic advisor” among the disciples of Jesus, so when Jesus began outlining his mission plan, Peter was ready to offer his opinion. But Jesus isn’t impressed with his new chief of staff, and fires him on the spot. He heard in Peter’s words the voice of the old adversary he’d encountered in the wilderness of Judea–by this time in his ministry Jesus couldn’t be fooled or misdirected. Doubtless the encounter was a jolt to Jesus too. It always surprises us when a trusted friend or family member turns out to be the main stumbling block in finding our direction and purpose. It isn’t that they have it in for us–they probably love us very much–but they don’t get our vision or our call. They think they know the realities of life and what’s good for us, and they want to protect us from losing our way or making mistakes. So they speak up and tell us the smart thing to do, and assume we’ll do as they suggest. But all the while they’re making their pitch our minds are awhirl–we know in our hearts that the way we have in mind has come from God, even if it doesn’t make sense. So we say “No” to the adversary–and pray that the stumbling block was not the cornerstone!

Thought for the Day: Someone who was a stumbling block to me.

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