February 27

Mark 8:31-33

“But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’” vs. 33

Having resisted the temptations of Satan in the wilderness, it must have surprised Jesus to hear the tempter’s voice coming from his most trusted disciple. But that’s how temptation works! Seldom can we be tempted by those who we don’t know well–we just don’t trust them enough to put much credence in what they say. But when someone dear to us, someone we love, begins to whisper in our ears, we pay attention. Peter was bold and confident, certain that he knew the way, and he doesn’t hesitate to rebuke Jesus. Oh how often we are led astray by such folks! And before we know it we’ve wandered off in pursuit of wealth or prestige because that’s the human way. But Jesus wasn’t a newbie, he’d faced Satan down once before and was familiar with the tempter’s tale. Sometimes it takes us awhile too. We might even have to be led astray a time or two before the divine call sinks in and we realize that humble, self-giving service is the way to eternal life. All those things the world offers are pipe-dreams and dead-end roads and do nothing to enhance our souls. The way of the cross offered by Jesus isn’t necessarily appealing, but ultimately it leads to new life–and that’s what the journey is all about!

Thought for the Day: Where have I heard the tempter’s voice?

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