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Behind me

Matthew 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Mark 8:33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

And then in Revelation 2:9 "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."

Jesus had a following and he had support but to go to Jerusalem was dangerous. It is always a temptation to protect your personal self-interest and the adversaries of truth and justice and mercy in the world always tempt us to put ourselves first.

But there is no grace if we only love those who love us. Christ came that the whole world might be saved. He preached a Kingdom of God at hand and that Kingdom which God rules is within you and is preached, manifested and established by The Way you live and what you do.

Peter was seemingly a good guy and loved by Christ and seem to love Christ but he was not above being influenced by thoughts of self preservation but self preservation is about self and the kingdom message is about saving others and not just those near us and love us but often far from us.

Jesus understood that tendency and told Peter that he was going to face that selfish nature and that Jesus would pray for him.

Matthew 16:24 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

It was only six days later that Peter was taken with James and John to receive a unique revelation about Christ.

Peter would go on to deny Christ and yet come back to repentance. These events dug deep into the soul of Peter so that through forgiveness and sacrifice and acceptance of the truth about himself he could grow in Spirit and in Truth.

The same is true for all of us. We must face our own personal demons and see the darkness that creeps into our hearts and minds if we are to be free souls under God.

In order to do that we are often rebuked by God. This rebuke may come from our enemies, from authoritarian governments and even from those who love us.[1]

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  1. Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
    Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.
    Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.