He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
When the Lord says that Simon can see things that flesh and blood has not revealed, He’s declaring that Simon has Christian eyes. This earns Simon a new and glorious name and the title of head of the church.
The key word here is “revealed.” This was not some brilliant deduction Simon made. All He did was pick up on the message from My Father. Christian eyes are nothing more than truly open eyes.
But we quickly see Peter’s Christian eyes close.
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” — Matthew 16:21–23
Now Peter’s eyes are so closed they’re not even open to the words of Jesus Himself. What happened? How can someone so solid in the faith suddenly find himself arguing with his Lord?
Notice Jesus’s use of the word, “mindful” here. “You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Remember, Christian eyes are a function of the mind. Peter’s error here is mostly one of forgetting. He’s a young Christian at this point. He’s not used to the Christian mindset. Being “mindful of the things of God” means not slipping back into secular thinking.
You have to remember to use your Christian eyes.
This gets back to the lesson on being honest with ourselves about of the quality of our vision. Peter took Jesus’s complement to heart, and now he thinks he’s an expert. Jesus announced that one thing was revealed to Simon by My Father in Heaven. To Simon’s sinful ego, this means he can see everything clearly. So, of course, he decides to “help” Jesus by transmitting some of this newfound vision.
Jesus comeback line is especially painful — “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me,”
Peter needs to learn a tough lesson. Those words are designed to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.