21From 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. 22Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23But 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.”
Jesus now began to make clear that He must shortly die in Jerusalem for the sins of man.
Peter had just proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah (16:16) yet, in counter-distinction to his confession, in this passage he disavowed God’s design for Jesus dying on the cross (16:21-23). Peter both confessed and rebuked Jesus, back to back.
From that time
Jesus turned to instructing His disciples more privately at this time. From the time Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus began to reveal God’s plan for Him to die on the cross in Jerusalem. Jesus was about six months away from dying on the cross.
The term “began” signals a new emphasis in Jesus’ ministry.
to show to His disciples
The word “show” means to exhibit, vividly demonstrate.
that He must [necessarily] go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes [constituted authorities], and be killed, and be raised the third day.
There are four things that “must” happen to Jesus:
Jesus “must” go to Jerusalem;
Jesus “must” suffer many things;
Jesus “must” be killed;
Jesus “must” rise the third day (not the second or fourth day).
Jesus had spoken in oblique ways about His coming crucifixion and death; now He spelled out God’s plan for His death in Jerusalem. This was not an option but a “must.” A “must” is a necessity imposed upon someone.
Then Peter took Him aside [apart from the other disciples] and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not [strongest negation] happen to You!”
Peter rebuked Jesus in a brash manner; he found Jesus’ statements completely unrelated to his assumptions about the Messiah. The word “rebuke” carries the thought of authoritative judgment. The present tense of “rebuke” indicates that Peter rebuked Jesus repeatedly.
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense [stumbling block] to Me,
The words of Jesus, “Get behind Me, Satan,” must have shaken Peter to the core. He was seriously out of phase with God’s will. Peter’s attempt to deter Jesus from going to the cross was a step into Satan’s plan. The cross is God’s plan for delivering man from his sin. The idea of bypassing the cross was a stumbling block to Jesus.
Within a half-dozen verses Peter made one assertion in the will of God (v.17) and one out of the will of God (v.22).
for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
The word “mindful” refers to Peter’s orientation. The death of Jesus was God’s business and program. God’s plan was for Jesus to go to the cross; Satan’s plan was to prohibit that plan. The cross is the chief reason Jesus stepped foot on earth.
The death of Christ for the sins of man is not an option but a divine necessity.
Jesus had no option but to die for the sins of man. Jesus never said, “Why me, God?” He never participated in Peter’s presumption. God’s plan was more important to Him than any human convenience. God’s plan takes precedence over man’s plans. Men cannot come to Christ on their own terms.
When Christians place personal pain above God’s plan, they operate outside the will of God. They will fall prey to Satan’s plan. God always has a plan in pain; He uses it as a refining procedure.
Our good intentions are often incongruent with God’s plans. Peter’s stance put him at odds with God’s will. Our agenda and God’s agenda are two different things.