Isn’t it remarkable that Jesus says “get behind me, Satan,” to Peter! I don’t think he’s literally calling Peter, Satan, he’s identifying the source of Peter’s words as being a temptation for Him to abandon His divine call as the Savior of the World and to preserve His own physical life. This was part of Satan’s temptation that Jesus faced and overcame in the desert back in Matthew chapter 4. It’s the same temptation that you and I face when we would much rather preserve the status quo in our lives than to step out in faith to accomplish what God has called us to do. When we put ourselves and our physical safety, comfort, and well-being above the interests of Christ, we are acting like Satan. That’s what he did and that’s what he wants us to do.

Notice that after Jesus called Peter “Satan” he also said, “You are an offense to me.” The word offense in Greek is “Skandalon.” We get our word “Scandal” from that. Literally it’s part of a trap. It might be, as one write suggests, the piece of metal on a mousetrap to which a piece of cheese is attached. Jesus identified the source of Peter’s words as coming from Satan because they were the bait used by Satan to keep Christ from fulfilling His divine destiny.

Satan’s greatest interest in anyone’s life is to keep us from being and doing all that God desires for us. He’ll use anyone around us, even those closest. He’ll use anything as well. He used the serpent in the Garden and he used Peter with Jesus. The pursuit of self interest at the expense of God’s purpose is the greatest danger, and the most deceptive trap, in the life of any believer.

“The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest…” Matthew 13:23