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WHAT CONCERNS DO YOU HAVE IN MIND AT THIS MOMENT ?

dimanche 31 juillet 2022, par Marius Kounou

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, You are a stumbling block to me ; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Matthew 16 : 23

The mind of human creation is the source of all kinds of concerns. Based on the passage of Matthew 16 it becomes easy for us Christians to narrow the list of human beings’ concerns to two main concerns : concerns of God and concerns of man. The Apostle Peter’s experience in the book of Matthew will help us to zoom in on the two kinds of concerns.

In Matthew 16 Jesus was asking the disciples who they think he is and Peter replied that Jesus is Christ and the son of God. Jesus did not only confirm Peter’s answer but he also stated that Peter’s answer came from God. However, we would be wrong to believe that because Peter had been led to decode the voice of God in that specific moment, it had been the same for him all the time.

In fact, the concerns of man also took control of Peter just a few minutes later in Matthew 16:21 when Jesus was explaining to the disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things and that he had to be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter replied again rebuking him and said “never Lord”. Even though Peter’s intention was good at that moment as he wanted to protect Jesus, his concern was totally wrong and was even opposite to God’s concern. Hence, Jesus’ answer to him was all but not diplomatic : “Get behind me, Satan ! You are a stumbling block to me”. Despite that answer which may sound to us harsh and unfriendly, Peter did not give up and he definitely did not learn the lesson as shown in Matthew 26:33 and John 18:10 where he remained consistent with that concern.

Many of us commonly make the mistake of believing that so long as we are citizens of the Kingdom of God, anytime we have good intentions, our concerns are automatically God’s concerns. Nothing is farther from the truth than that. If Peter, who had good intentions and also spent 3 years following Jesus everywhere on earth, could easily reject God’s concern and be so attached to man’s concern, you and I can easily fall prey to the same pattern. May God give us the discernment to recognize his concerns in any situation.

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