This morning we are continuing our theme or series on Refocus as we make our way towards Homecoming, and celebrating 128 years of ministry in the Red Level community.
Week one of this series we looked at how Jesus showed Peter, that we can experience God more, if we are willing to be obedient, if we are willing to go deep, if we are willing to do things that are not the normal routine, and when Peter did just that, he experienced the greatest catch of his career, but then was called into ministry.
Last week we looked at refocusing on who Jesus is, and how Jesus asked the disciples who the world says that He is, and then asked them who they or the church says that He, Jesus is? and that God the Father had revealed to Peter that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
We also seen that there is a big problem in our country, that there are a lot of people that say they are committed to Jesus but are very confused on who He really is, and we need to first be assured of who He is and second help others to be assured of who He is.
Jesus also told us that He was build His church upon Himself, that is Jesus is the foundation of the church, and when we make Jesus the foundation of the church, the gates of Hell will not prevail, Satan cannot overcome us, because greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.
Today we are going to continue to look in Matthew 16 and at the refocus theme as we look at Refocusing in order to not Hinder God!
Now the title of this mornings message may sound very different, but when we look at the text this morning you may understand it a little better.
We will be looking at just three verses this morning, Jesus is predicting His death and resurrection for the first of three times in the Gospel of Matthew in these three verses.
We will be looking at verses 21-23 this morning of Chapter 16 of Matthew if you will be finding your place.
These verse come right after the verse we looked at last week, Jesus has just clarified if you will that He is the Messiah, and we must understand that the Jewish people believed that the Messiah was coming to set up an earthly kingdom and to take control of Israel.
Therefore, as we look at our text this morning we need to keep that in mind, that these disciples, now understanding that Jesus is the Messiah, their thought of the Messiah is that he will eventually step up as the king or ruler of Israel taking the authority from Rome.
If you are able will you stand with me in honor of the reading of God’s Word.
Verse 21 begins with from then on, that is telling us, this is marking a new emphasis in the Gospel of Matthew here, Matthew is turning from the public ministry of Jesus to His private instructions for the disciples which took on a new, somber tone.
Jesus is now preparing them for His death, burial and resurrection.
He tells them that it is necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, most of Jesus earthly ministry was spent away from Jerusalem.
If you add the accounts of the four Gospels together, there are roughly seven times Jesus went to Jerusalem during His earthly ministry.
Now there was probably more times that Jesus went to Jerusalem that just was not recorded, like the Passover festivals, He probable visited Jerusalem each year at those times.
But now He is heading to Jerusalem for a specific point to suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes.
He tells the disciples, specifically to be killed, and to be raised the third day.
Now as I mentioned earlier, we must remember for the Jews, as Jesus just clarified to the disciples, that He is the Messiah, He was supposed to set up a earthly kingdom and take rule and authority of Israel, not go and be killed.
Now if He was going to Jerusalem to set up His kingdom rule that would make sense but to be killed, that just does not make sense for the guy that just revealed to them that He is the Messiah, the one that they have been waiting on for centuries.
But what God has for us to really look at this morning is the last two verses, verses 22 and 23, we need to see what Peter says to Jesus and then Jesus’ response to Peter, and what that has to do for us today, and how that can even be us at times.
I. Walking in the Flesh.
Jesus has explained to the disciples about His death and resurrection, and Peter has became more or less the spokes person of the group, and we cannot say for certain, but we can assume that he is probably speaking what they all are think.
But Peter takes Jesus aside, as Jesus is the master, He is the Lord, He is the Rabbi, the Leader, the boss, the head guy, you do not rebuke the boss in front of everyone, so Peter takes Jesus aside, and rebukes him.
Well, you do not rebuke Jesus at all, but we are all human, and we all make mistakes, we all at times think we know best, or think our way is the best.
Peter tells Jesus, Oh no, Lord!
This will never happen to you!
Again remember, Jesus just revealed to them that He is the Messiah, and therefore, He is supposed to become the king of Israel, take rule and authority, reign over the land, not be killed.
So many times we think our way is best, but we do not take time to seek Jesus, God the Father on the issue, or the circumstance because, hey our plan, our idea is best.
See while we are here on this earth, we are in this flesh, this body, and so many times our old self, likes to rare its ugly head, and we think we know what is best, we think it has to be done this way, we are in the flesh, and not walking in the Spirit.
As we see here in Galatians, when we are in the flesh, the flesh is against the Spirit, that is the Spirit of God, that is if we are not seeking God, and the ways of God, through the Holy Spirit, then we are in the flesh and we are going against the ways of God, against God’s will.
But when we are seeking God’s will, when we are walking in the Spirit, seeking first the Kingdom of God, that is putting our wants and desires aside, and seeking after what God’s will and plan is, then we are walking in the Spirit, and we will carry out the will of God.
Quenching the Spirit
Matthew 16:23a (CSB)
23 Jesus turned and told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!
You are a hindrance to me
In this first part of verse 23, we see Jesus’ response to Peter, Jesus turns His back towards Peter and says to him, get behind me, Satan!
Wow, can imagine what Peter felt like in that very moment.
Peter is Jesus main man, he has become the spokes person for the disciples, Peter just spoke up and said that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, and Jesus blessed him for saying that.
Now Jesus is rebuking him not very long after that had taken place, and telling him, Satan get behind me.
That has to sting bad.
But what we must see here is when we are not being used by God, when we are going against God, and His plan, His will, we are actually being used by Satan, just as Peter was here in this verse.
Jesus says you are a hindrance to me.
Peter was going against the plan God had and because of that it had become a hindrance.
If we are not doing what God has called us to do than we are a hindrance to the will and plan of God and we are told not to quench or grieve the Spirit.
Paul told the believers at Ephesus the same thing in Ephesians 4:30
The fire of God’s Holy Spirit is not to be doused with sin.
As believers we are also instructed to not grieve the Holy Spirit but to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and to walk that is be lead by the Holy Spirit.
The word quench in Greek is sbennumi, a verb - meaning - extinguish - go out, quench.
We are not to put out what God is trying to do in us, through us, around us, near us, or in others.
But we are to kindle it, and build up that which God is doing, when we see God at work we are to join Him, when we see God working within someone, we are to add wood to that fire burning in them, not try to put it out.
We do that by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us.
We have to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us in order that we are being used to build the Kingdom of God, and not hinder what God is trying to do, or quench what the Spirit is trying to do through us.
This is a lot of verses here, but what we are being told is do not allow anything to be a stumbling block for others.
I hear people say all the time, there is nothing wrong with drinking a beer, or smoking a cigarette, or doing this or doing that, and I am not God, and I am not here to judge you or to condemn you, but these Scriptures tell us right here not to be a stumbling block.
Therefore, is it wrong, well we can sit here all day and discuss that, share Scriptures back and forth, share medical journals and other things, but is it a stumbling block for someone else.
The thing is you, you never know who is watching you, and you do not know there past, you do not know what their weaknesses are, or what they are trying to overcome, what God is working on them over, and when we as Christians go in and buy alcohol, tobacco, or go to the all you can eat buffet and eat 8 plates of food, how those things may effect that person God is working on.
And therefore, how we may have just quenched the Spirit in that persons life, or may have even just quench what the Spirit was about to do through you.
We are called as Christians to be Holy as He God, Jesus is Holy, and that is to be different, set apart from the world, so that the world may see Jesus through us.
Again I am not here to judge you, or to condemn you, what you do is between you and God, but if you have to question it, if you have to think about it, if you have to find Scripture to try to justify yourself, then maybe God is convicting you of it and it is time to examine what you are doing.
God’s Concerns vs.
Matthew 16:23b (CSB)
23 because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns.”
Jesus continued on with rebuking Peter, saying to him, because you are not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns.
Another words you are thinking in the flesh instead of in the spirit.
How often do we think in the flesh, instead of looking at situation, circumstances from the spiritual?
We to many times, look at things the way we want them to turn out, or how we want things, then to seek God’s will, God’s plan for the situation or the circumstance.
As Jesus was letting the disciples in on God’s plan for His life, to let them know that it is getting very close to the point in God’s plan for Me to go to Jerusalem and be crucified and resurrected, Peter is like wait, hold up there just a minute, that is not going to happen.
Jesus say, Peter you are looking at this in the flesh, in the natural realm, in human perspective, when I am telling you something that is from the Spiritual realm of things, that has to do with the Spiritual perspective and you have to look at it in the spirit.
See what happened was, Jesus told Peter, Satan get behind me, Peter allowed his flesh to get in the way, and when we allow our flesh to get in the way, we are allowing Satan to get a foot hold in to come and ruin what God is trying to do, to interrupt God’s plan at that very moment.
We cannot give the devil, Satan any opportunity to get in the way of what God is trying to do.
We have to walk in the Spirit and keep our eyes on Jesus and not allow Satan to worm his way in.
On Wednesday nights we are studying End times, and working through the Book of Revelation, this past Wednesday night as we were looking at chapter 12, we looked at verse 11, which gives us a threefold formula for victory over Satan.
We are told they - the believers - conquered him - that is Satan:
1. Believer’s Cleansing
We are cleansed through the blood of the Lamb of God which is Jesus Christ, the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice was shed on the cross, for the remission of our sins.
We are cleansed of our sins when we accept the gift of salvation, the payment of our redemption, and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior of our life.
2. Believer’s Confession
There in verse 11 of Revelation 12 we are told by the word of their testimony.
Well one we are told in Romans 10:9-10
So we confess Jesus as Lord and Savior of our life, to receive salvation, but then once we have received that salvation, we have a testimony, a Jesus story that we are to tell people about.
We all as believers have a Jesus story, and if you do not have a Jesus story then you need to get a Jesus story, because if you do not have a Jesus story then you are not saved, you have not received Jesus as Lord and Savior and are not going to Heaven when you leave this earth.
Our Jesus Story is when Jesus saved us from our sins, it is our weapon against Satan, telling him we are a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.
3. Believer’s Courage
Loving and Living life for Jesus even to the point of death.
That is having the courage to tell people our Jesus story no matter what the outcome might be, they might persecute us, they might spit on us, they might throw stuff at us, and if we go to other countries we might even get put in prison, beaten, or killed for it, but we love Jesus enough that we will tell that Jesus story no matter what.
Because it is like Paul said, Philippians 1:21
He continued on there in Philippians, to say that he longed to depart and be with Christ but that it was more fruitful and more necessary for him to remain in the flesh, that is here on earth with the people, he was not being arrogant, but was saying if he stay here on earth he could continue to teach them about Jesus, He could continue to make disciples.
But as Christians we should all desire and long to be in heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As Christians we are called to share our faith, our Jesus story with others that they may have the opportunity to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ before it is eternally to late.
Therefore, as we refocus on Jesus we cannot allow satan to work his way in, because if he does, he will hinder the work of God, we have stop satan by being cleansed in the blood of the Lamb of God, by or confession of our testimony, and having courage to share that testimony no matter what we face.
If you have not been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, if you have never accepted the free gift of salvation and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life will you come and allow me to share some more with you and pray with you this morning as we sing a song of invitation.