Does Jesus call Peter Satan?


Short answer is “Yes, he does”.  All Catholics of any knowledge know that Jesus had a conversation with the apostles about who people thought he was. Matt 16:13-23  shows us that scenario.  After Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, and declared him the cornerstone of the Catholic Church, Jesus went on to explain what God had in mind for him later.  He told his closest friends that he “must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Peter, being the protector (remember, he attacked the guard when Jesus was arrested), promised to protect the Lord “God forbid, Lord!  No such thing shall ever happen to you.” But Peter was thinking in earthly terms, and this is why Jesus tells him “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.” Jesus, being the son of God, wants always to do God’s will.  This is what he was explaining to his apostles-what God’s will for him was.

Any time we refuse to do God’s will, we are doing the will of Satan.  Most of the time, we know what God’s will is.  We have 10 basic commandments to follow, very simply put, 1)Love God, 2)Love our neighbor as ourselves.  Love means sacrifice, so no matter what we want to do, if we truly love God, and love our neighbor, we are doing His will. If we aren’t making those sacrifices all the time, then we are spending time doing the will of Satan.  God gives us chances, just as he did Peter, for when Peter denied Jesus three times, Jesus came back and asked him to confess three times that Peter loved Jesus, and then commissioned him to feed his sheep and lambs.

We know that Peter and all the apostles were flawed men, but we know that Jesus chose them, even Judas who betrayed him.  Jesus built his church on flawed men, then poured out the Holy Spirit to protect them, and to keep the Church on the straight, narrow path.  Does this mean the Church is perfect?  Not by human eyes.  But since everything God does is, by definition, perfect, the Church of God, the Catholic Church is perfect.  Not because of the pope, or any bishop or priest, but in spite of them.  The Church is holy because Jesus is holy.

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