Peter both gets it right and wrong in the space of a few minutes.
In the first case the Father revealed the truth about His Son to Peter. He got that right.
In the second case Peter rebuked Jesus when the Lord told the disciples that he would be killed in Jerusalem. He got that one horribly wrong.
What was the difference and what are some of the implications for us?
In the first case Peter’s understanding was illuminated by the Father. The Father allowed him to understand the truth of who Jesus really was. Jesus said Peter was blessed to know this.
In the second case, Peter was focused on his interests, man’s interests, not God’s, not the Father’s. Therefore rather than being illuminated with the truth, he was dead wrong.
I might suggest there are at least two implications of these moments in Peter’s life for us;
- Just because the Lord has given us illumination and we understand better a portion of His truth, we are not immune from error in the next sentence we utter. We have to be hard after the Word of God to make sure that we do not deviate from its revealed truth.
- A primary source of error, if not the primary, is to set our mind on man’s, our, interests rather than seeking what God wants.
Under the reality of living in a fallen, broken world, it is all too easy to consider that our needs, wishes, and desires are what God wants to fulfill. When we do that, it escapes our notice that what he wants us to do is focus on seeking His Kingdom, not our wants, needs, or desires.
Personally, I need continual reminders of that truth.