Manila Bulletin

Peter’s con­fes­sion about Je­sus

- MARK 8:27-33

JE­SUS and his dis­ci­ples set out for the vil­lages of Cae­sarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his dis­ci­ples, “Who do peo­ple say that I am?” They said in re­ply, “John the Bap­tist, oth­ers Elijah, still oth­ers one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in re­ply, “You are the Christ.” Then he warned them not to tell any­one about him.

He be­gan to teach them that the Son of Man must suf­fer greatly and be re­jected by the el­ders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise af­ter three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and be­gan to re­buke him. At this he turned around and, look­ing at his dis­ci­ples, re­buked Peter and said, “Get be­hind me, Satan. You are think­ing not as God does, but as hu­man be­ings do.” RE­FLEC­TION YOU ARE THINK­ING NOT AS GOD DOES, BUT AS HU­MAN BE­INGS DO. The Gospel is the first of the three pre­dic­tions in Mark of Je­sus’ pas­sion, death, and res­ur­rec­tion. The three fol­low a cer­tain pat­tern: first, pre­dic­tion; sec­ond, the dis­ci­ples’ mis­un­der­stand­ing; third, Je­sus’ in­struc­tion.

The pas­sage to­day deals only with the pre­dic­tion and mis­un­der­stand­ing. Je­sus re­bukes the dis­ci­ples for their lack of com­pre­hen­sion on the na­ture of his mes­si­ahship. It is dif­fi­cult for the dis­ci­ples to ac­cept a suf­fer­ing Mes­siah. They are ex­pect­ing a po­lit­i­cal Mes­siah, who can lib­er­ate them from the Ro­man rule.

Je­sus calls Peter “Satan,” that is, a stum­bling block to God’s plan of sal­va­tion. The dis­ci­ples can­not un­der­stand how suf­fer­ing can lead to free­dom. Je­sus has to show them that God’s way is dif­fer­ent from hu­man ways.

We have to at­tune our­selves to God’s way of do­ing things. “For as the heav­ens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Is 55:9).

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philip­pines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Web­site: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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