“He rebuked Peter, and said “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s”" Mark 8:33
Get behind – You’re dismissed! That’s the sense of the Greek verb hupago. Jesus is commanding Satan to depart from Him. This is not a statement of self-protection. Jesus is not saying, “I’m going to put that thought out of my mind” or “Please get away from me with your temptations”. Jesus is in full command of the moment. He sends the devil away. He is not cowering under the pressure or faltering in His mission. He looks the temptation fully in the face and says, “You and all that you represent are dismissed!”
“Behind Me” is the direction on this command. The word opisthen has more than a topographical meaning. It is not just the direction to the rear. It is also used to describe what lies in the past, what’s behind me in my history. Perhaps this helps us see something important in Jesus command. Jesus dismisses Satan not only away from Him physically but also away from Him temporally. He sends Satan back into the past, to those moments in the wilderness when the temptation for the easier way was silenced by God’s word.
Peter came to Jesus with a suggestion. That suggestion was that God would never require death as a means to victory. The Son of God could not be expected to sacrifice His life. There must be an easier way. Jesus recognized the voice of Satan in the mouth of Peter. Jesus took control before the thought gained momentum. He reminded His adversary that the issue had been settled in the past and that any present insinuations were to be dismissed from possibility.
We need to take the same posture. Satan will attempt to lessen the demands for holiness and righteousness on every follower of Jesus. He will suggest an easier way. That is the moment when we must point to the past and send our adversary on his way, back to the cross where the issue for us was settled once and for all. Back to the cross that we picked up at the beginning of this day in obedience to the Master. “Get behind me” is our command too. Satan is not in charge here. He must be reminded that I am free from his suggestions because the Son of God was obedient unto death and I have chosen the same path. “If a man loses his life for my sake”. The cross is before me and behind me. There is no room for compromise. “Get behind me, Satan.”
Today: You will hear a suggestion to lessen the challenge. Be prepared to remember what lies in the past.