Get Behind Me, Satan: Rejecting the Love of Man


Jesus, Peter, painting, "Get Behind Me Satan"We are all well-conditioned to deride the loves of money, power, and self, but there is one form of idolatry that is far more subtle than the rest: the love of man.

This week at Common Sense Concept, I explore such idolatry through an instance in the Book of Matthew where Peter expresses loving concern regarding Jesus’ impending death.

Jesus’ response? “Get behind me, Satan!”

Here’s an excerpt:

Such a harsh response is difficult for us to understand. It seems highly unreasonable that the desire to keep a loved one away from harm — let alone death — would be labeled as satanic, particularly when that loved one is the Son of God…The problem, of course, is that Peter’s love was based on “the things of man,” and like many of us, he should have known better.

The lesson therein has to do with keeping the first commandment before shooting for the second (I have commented on this before). If we don’t, we are bound to screw things up. We must first and foremost align our love to God, which means submitting to his will with gracious obedience.

Here’s another piece:

In our earthly striving to love our neighbors and do good works, to which source is our love truly aligned? It may be easy to think that the ends of love always involve our own destruction, but what if we shift that onto someone else? To what end of submission is our love of God truly capable of achieving? Are we willing to accept the death of a loved one? This is radical, indeed.

Read the full post here.

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