I’ve had a change of perspective towards blue jays. I used to see them as “bad.” When they came to my feeder they took over. They scared the smaller birds and the seed they sent falling to the ground seemed like such a waste. But, this past winter I have noticed something I’ve never realized before. Yes, they still do scare the smaller birds, but the “wasted” seed they send falling to the ground is actually “good!” There are many birds that don’t eat from the feeder. They prefer to eat seed on the ground. So, the “bad” blue jays are actually doing a “good” thing!
Two weeks ago I wrote about some verses in Matthew 16 when Jesus warned His disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, their false teachings. Using the analogy of yeast Jesus warned them that…
a false teaching, no matter how small, can permeate your entire life.
Jesus’ warning implied it was more dangerous to “eat” false teachings than to have forgotten to bring bread along to eat.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were from a long line of religious leaders who over the years had added many man-made laws to God’s original ten. While God had added some more to His first ten, the religious leaders put fences around the fences. These laws came from their own point of view, not from the heart of God.
In Matthew 16 right after Jesus’ warning about the yeast of the Pharisees, there is an example of how differently man’s view point is compared to God’s.
Jesus asked the disciples who they think He is and Peter responded, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus affirmed his answer and said, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.”
But just a few minutes later when Jesus told them that He was going to suffer and die Peter once again spoke up and said, “Heaven forbid, Lord, This will never happen to you!” This time Jesus rebuked him and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
Peter, a follower of Jesus, who had spent about three years listening to truth, and who had just spoken the truth of who Jesus was, now said something that was false. He said something that came from a human point of view.
Human point of view equals false teaching; and that, Jesus says, comes from Satan.
This human point of view was what Jesus was warning His disciples to stay away from.
This human view point was what the religious leaders had made many of their laws and teachings from.
This human view point brought out the righteous anger in Jesus. There were many time Jesus rebuked the religious leaders; calling them blind guides, hypocrites, and whitewashed tombs – clean on the out side but filled with dead man’s bones.
This human view point was why Jesus rebuked Peter, calling it Satan and telling that viewpoint, that trap, to get behind Him.
These conversations between Jesus and Peter illustrate the warning Jesus just gave to His disciples, and to us as well.
When you believe in God, listen to His voice of truth. and align your view points according to His truth you will be blessed. You will have everything you need. You won’t need to worry about your physical needs because God promises to provide.
But, if you allow your view point to come from your own understanding; from your feelings and emotions, then your thoughts, words, and actions will be from Satan, and they will trap you and hinder the work of God.
When Peter heard all that Jesus was going to go through I believe his emotions welled up and he couldn’t bear to hear all the “bad” things that were going to happen to Him. As a good friend he felt he needed to stop all the “bad” and he would do all he could to keep Jesus safe.
Recently God asked me to ponder my view of “bad.” I have realized my view point is often swayed by how I feel and my feelings and emotions call things “bad,” but I’m wondering if Jesus is shaking His head and saying the same thing to me that He said to Peter.
What Jesus was describing to His disciples was obviously very “bad.” No body would consider suffering and death “good.” Yet, Jesus called Peter’s view point “bad,” and said that there was another way to see it from, the view point of God.
Today, we see their conversation from this side of the suffering and death. We realize the “good” of it all. We understand that Peter’s point of view was “bad”, for if Jesus hadn’t suffered and been crucified we would have no hope.
But, for Peter, at the time I’m sure it was difficult to accept something that looked so “bad” could actually be “good.” To be reprimanded probably offended Peter.
“What do You mean? Jesus, You Just called me blessed!”
“I’m not Satan, and why do I need to get behind You?”
“Don’t You care that I’m just looking out for You?”
It’s the contrast of these two statements from Peter that shows the distinct difference of view points.
And it’s the contrast of Jesus’ responses that shows the importance of having a view point that comes from God.
When I see a “bad” situation based on my human view point it stirs up fear. That fear is what stirs my emotions and feelings to control and manipulate to keep the “bad” from happening. I become trapped in the “bad,” not realizing I don’t need to stay trapped.
I can choose to put the view point of my flesh behind me and look to God to see it from His.
When I choose to look to God for His view point I will hear the truth. It isn’t often the point of view I want to hear because it goes against my feelings and emotions, but if I choose to obey I find His grace to help me and I find the freedom and blessing that comes from obedience.
Maybe there really aren’t “good” and “bad” things, just “things” that God works together for the good!
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28