Call It And Carry On

23 01 2012

I was wrestling over Jesus’ and Peter’s interaction in Matthew 16 today. One minute Jesus is telling Peter he is “blessed” and is handing him the keys to the kingdom. A moment later He says, with some energy, that Peter is Satan.

 

Speaking as one who is sensitive to words and the tone in which they are spoken I would have been devastated; and confused. It must have been pretty hard to go from feeling like a favorite to being a complete screw up.

 

I wish the Bible gave us a little more with that story. I wish it described the look on Peter’s face, how he felt; the follow-up conversation.

 

The more I thought about this, the more I thought about the kinds of things one says when time’s-a-wasting; when there’s a major issue and you don’t have two weeks to sort it out. What do you say in emergencies? In times like those you take out extra words and you say things to the point without a whole lot of thought given to how the listener might feel: Get down! Move aside! Call 911!  Drop that! Stop!

 

Jesus had been walking with Peter for some time now and He had no more time. Time was coming to a close and Peter HAD to get it. Jesus couldn’t have a bunch of debate sessions with Peter. Jesus needed him to understand the seriousness of the situation NOW! It was like shock-therapy.

 

It was Satanic to think that Jesus would avoid saving the world. This was His whole mission. Only Satan would say, “Don’t do it.” It was to Satan’s advantage to dissuade Jesus from walking into danger and ultimately to the cross.

 

Jesus turned to Peter and immediately identified the problem and with crushing crystal clarity, called it. I am sure Peter was totally winded from that, but there was no mistaking what just happened. There was no mistaking Peter’s grave error: “Let’s not mince words; that’s Satanic.”

 

I will admit, if it were me rather than Peter, I would prefer a sit-down and a talk where Jesus takes out an exercise ball and says, “Now Teresa, these are the things you are doing well at…” and then a ping-pong ball, “and these are the things I am concerned about. Now keep this exercise ball in mind when I tell you something. I am really proud of you and for the most part you are doing great…but about this ping-pong ball…you know that time when you said that perhaps I should reconsider going to Jerusalem…that was a little off for the following reasons that I want to explain to you over coffee…”

 

I could take that, as long as there was Kleenex at the table.

 

But these were not sit-down conditions and Jesus needed Peter to see things differently, immediately.

 

Are there times like that for me as well?

 

Satan says a lot of things like that to us in order to derail our energy to live His way, on mission; sometimes those things come from others, sometimes they come out of our own lips. I have a feeling, if we listened better, we would hear Jesus nail some of those statements to the wall with a single word: Satan.

 

When someone tries to soften sin, when someone says something contrary to the heart of God, when someone tears down something Jesus actually loves and died for, sometimes those things can leave me weary, frustrated, discouraged and disillusioned. Those things waste a lot of time in the Kingdom and I think, if I were listening better, I would hear some outrage from Jesus and a single emphatic word: “Satan.”

 

And I would turn and see an indignant Christ and He would motion forward so that I would get on with it and leave that ridiculous notion behind.

 

Some things aren’t really worth discussing around round tables.

Some things we shouldn’t be rolling around in our heads at night.

Some things do not require our energy to defend or explain.

 

Some things just come from the enemy. Call it and carry on.

 

— Teresa Klassen

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2 responses

23 01 2012
Chantelle

wow. um nope – that’s all I have to say about this one: wow.

23 01 2012
teresaklassen

Haha…not sure how to reply to this comment.

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