What does Matthew 16:22 mean?
ESV: And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”
NIV: Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 'Never, Lord!' he said. 'This shall never happen to you!'
NASB: And yet Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You!'
CSB: Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, "Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to you! "
NLT: But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. 'Heaven forbid, Lord,' he said. 'This will never happen to you!'
KJV: Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
NKJV: Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
Verse Commentary:
Peter's earlier statement (Matthew 16:16) showed He knew exactly who Jesus was: the Christ, the Son of the living God. However, Peter also proves that knowing who Jesus was is separate from knowing Jesus' mission and purpose on earth. As did many in Israel, Peter had specific expectations for what the Messiah was supposed to do. Most of those opinions focused on the restoration of Israel, leading many to see the Promised One as a warrior-king, similar to David. The idea that this figure would be killed by His enemies completely contradicted their traditions and assumptions.

Thanks to that misunderstanding, and not a small amount of pride, Peter attempts to correct His master. After all, Jesus had praised Peter enthusiastically for understanding who He was. He had even given Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19). Peter seems to be assuring Jesus that His disciples are up to the challenge of defending and supporting Him. Peter tells Jesus boldly that "this will never happen to you." As happens for so many of us, even today, Peter's conviction that Jesus is the Son of God does not prevent Him from attempting to "correct" God's plans.

In addition, it's clear that Peter's response is not merely a defense of his own ability. The Greek root term used here is epitimaō, translated as "rebuke," which carries a sense of reprimand or sharpness. Rebuking someone is not necessarily to speak in anger, and sometimes it's entirely appropriate (1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:13). Still, Peter is not merely correcting Jesus—he's scolding Him. That might partly explain the cutting response given by Jesus in the next verse (Matthew 16:23).
Verse Context:
Matthew 16:21–28 describes the disciples' reaction when Jesus reveals He must be killed by religious leaders and raised on the third day. Peter, recently praised for His faith (Matthew 16:17), chastises Jesus for saying such things. Jesus responds with a devastating rebuke of His own, saying "Get behind me, Satan!" Peter's insistence that Messiah could not be killed is based in his own assumptions, not truth. Christ warns that those who follow Him must be willing to give up all else in the world, and to take on hardship and persecution, as needed. He adds that some standing there will not die before seeing Him coming in His kingdom; this prediction is fulfilled in the next passage (Matthew 17:1–2).
Chapter Summary:
A group of Pharisees and Sadducees demand a miracle from Jesus, though He has already performed many. Jesus refuses and warns the disciples to beware of the teachings of these religious leaders. Jesus asks the disciples who the people say He is, as well as their own opinion. Peter says Jesus is the Christ, and is commended for that statement. Jesus begins to reveal that He must suffer and be killed before being raised on the third day. Peter's attempt to scold Jesus results in a devastating rebuke. Jesus then says all who would follow Him must take up crosses of self-denial.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 16 finds Jesus returned from the Gentile regions, only to be immediately confronted by another group of Jewish religious leaders. Yet again, these men prove they are insincere: no amount of evidence will ever be enough for them. After a dramatic discussion about Jesus' role as Messiah, Jesus indicates that those who would come after Him must take up their crosses and follow Him. His references to some seeing the Son of Man coming in His kingdom will be fulfilled at the beginning of chapter 17, in an event known as the transfiguration.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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