“Get behind me, Satan!” [Jesus] said, “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
The Big Picture
Are you a “big picture” kind of person? Do you have the ability to anticipate what might happen in the future as you weigh this alternative versus that one? Can you analyze the pros and cons?
Some people seem to have the uncanny ability to foresee the future and stave off disaster. We call that gift wisdom or prudence. Especially when making big decisions, it’s important to see and consider the big picture.
But no sinful human being has perfect prudence. Worldly wisdom often fails. The reason for this is simple. We cannot know with certainty what the future holds based on our human understanding and intuition. At best, we make educated guesses. But our calculated wisdom and painstaking prudence offer no guarantees. The Bible says, “No one knows what is coming—who can tell someone else what will happen after them?” (Ecclesiastes 10:14).
Peter thought he was prudent by imploring Jesus to avoid his cross. It made perfect sense! Why would anyone purposefully go up to Jerusalem so that he could “suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law,” only to “be killed” (Mark 8:31)? Which one of us would have argued that Peter was wrong?
We wouldn’t have, but Jesus did. And why? Because our Savior sees the big picture. Unlike us, he knew the future and understood what lay ahead on the road for sinners like you and me should he listen to Peter’s prudence and shun his suffering and cross. His evasion would mean our devastation.
Jesus didn’t mince words. He knew who was hiding behind Peter’s iron-clad logic. It was the devil himself, who would have loved nothing more than to watch Jesus abandon us to the grave and hell forever.
But our Savior saw right through it. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Peter was only noticing the short-term disadvantage to Jesus. Our Savior saw the big picture. His cross meant our salvation. His death meant our life. His resurrection meant our eternal victory.
That’s all that mattered to Jesus.
Dear Jesus, thank you for saving me from my broken logic and shortsightedness. Amen.