Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Get behind me Satan Mark 8:31-38

Jesus predicted his death more than once in Mark.  Look at Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31, Mark 10:45 and in Mark 12:1-12 His prediction's tucked into a parable. 

The news of Jesus' looming death shocked Peter.  Christians 2000 years later are accustomed to Jesus cross.  Knowing that Jesus death leads to his resurrection.  We see this prediction differently than Peter did the first time he heard it.  Jesus' prediction sounded aweful to Peter.  He tried to stop his rabbi from saying such unsettling words.  Mark says Peter επιτιμαν αυτω warned him. And Jesus warned Peter instead ύπαγε οπίσω μου, σατανα go behind/following me Satan. 

Just who does Peter think he is anyway? 
Telling the Rabbi what to teach was a bold move, a move that presumed equality with the teacher.  Peter didn't want Jesus to die.  At first it's hard to blame Peter.  Why would you want your friend to suffer.  Truth is we don't want Jesus to die on the cross; we need him to die, to set us free from sin.  Who among Jesus followers then or now wants to see Jesus crucified?  But be honest who among Jesus followers needs a savior.  Jesus had a mission to die and to rise and we, like Peter, are to follow our Lord always, even to the cross, and through it into our death and into new life in Jesus. 

Who does Jesus think Peter is?
Peter believed he was a devoted follower.  He believed Jesus was the Christ--but he didn't then understand what being Messiah meant.  Jesus was talking about the cross as part of God's plan for Him.  Jesus was boldly inviting Peter and others to take up their own crosses Mark 8:38.  He was inviting the crowd and us to true live Mark 8:39.  This is God's plan for our old lives to end for us too.  To Jesus--Peter was one of many who he would save through his cross and resurrection.  He was one of many living stones out of which Christ's body, the church, would be built.
Pax, John

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