Mark tells us that during Jesus’ time in the wilderness, he was tempted by Satan. The figure of Satan represents evil forces with threaten the way of God in the world.
Sometimes this evil force is manifested in bizarre ways, as in those who are demon possessed.
More often, it makes itself known in more “normal” ways, even appearing in the guise of well-meaning advice. When Jesus told the disciples that he must suffer and die, Peter said, “Lord, this must not happen to you!” Jesus replied, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things, but on human things.” (Mark 8:33)
Our words and decisions may oppose the way of Jesus. If it could happen to Peter, it can happen to us. But here’s the good news: even when we fail, Jesus will not give up on us. He is always seeking to restore, renew, and lift us. Thanks be to God!
Forgiving God, we confess our failure to you. We do not always follow the way you set for us. Have mercy upon us, and through the work of your Spirit, restore us to the fellowship of your Son. Amen.