Peter Rebuked

“He turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan.” Matthew 16:23

It was Peter’s love for Christ that made him rebel so at the thought of such a fate for Him. In his love he sought to hold the Master back from so throwing away His life. But in doing this he was acting the part of Satan in seeking to tempt Jesus from His great work of sacrifice. This way of the cross was not an accident; it was the way marked out for Christ; to swerve from it would be to fail in His mission.

Our best friends may become our tempters in the same way. In their love for us they may seek to keep us from entering paths of duty which will lead to sacrifice. Mothers may seek to restrain their children from going to foreign fields. Any of us, in the warmth of our affection for our friends, may seek to dissuade them from perilous or costly service which it may be their duty to undertake. We need to guard ourselves at this point. The path of true success does not always lie along the sunny hillside; sometimes it goes down into the dark valley of self-sacrifice. And if we try to hinder any from entering upon hard duties, urging them to choose easier ways, we may be doing Satan’s work. We may be plucking the crown from the brow of our friend by holding back his feet from the way of the cross.

We all need to guard, too, against the counsels of friends who would restrain us from costly or perilous service. In matters of duty we must know only one guide, and follow the call of only one voice. We are not set in this world to have a good, easy time; we are not set here to consult our own inclinations at all. We are here to go where Christ leads; to follow Him to sacrifice and to death if He leads us in these paths. We dare not allow ourselves to be turned aside by any tenderness of human love. It is the way of duty, however hard, that takes us home.