Read: Mark 8:31-33
Jesus begins to speak clearly about the suffering He must experience, the rejection from the leaders, and His crucifixion. Mark doesn’t provide a lot of details, just concise statements, but I suspect there were more details in the discussion between Jesus and the disciples, words that astonished them and shook them up.
Peter had had enough! His heart was already pounding as Jesus talked about the ridiculous leadership and their inability to understand that Jesus, the man from Nazareth, the one speaking to them in human flesh, was in fact The Messiah. Now Jesus begins to talk about the manner in which He would be killed.
Crucifixion, the public shaming and execution of people through slow, disgusting torture, was well known by this time. As a society, Rome ruled with great authority and we know the pax Romana (see article) prevailed. Peace, in this case, was maintained through brutal, swift judgment where the guilty were put on display as reminders of the ultimate authority of the Roman overlords.
Peter blew a gasket!
and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. Mark 8:32
Peter, rebuking Jesus. I love his heart, his passion, his complete commitment to serve the Lord, but here, he has overstepped his calling and authority.
But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Mark 8:33
These powerful words are not to be taken lightly. As I let my mind wander into the scene, I imagine that Jesus’ words quieted event the chirping birds and crickets in the area. No sound followed the exclamation point. Total silence.
With a word, Jesus could have dismissed the disciples, but he didn’t. Instead, quite remarkably, He draws them even closer. In my imagination, in the stillness of the night, they all shamefully, humbly, sit down around the feet of the Master as He speaks.
Jesus continues with a loving explanation to reset their perspective of the mission that lies before them. The concerns of God are far more important than these earthly thoughts.
I hope you have a quiet moment to ponder the seriousness of what we are called to do. I pray that I can remember the sensation I feel right now as I sit and type these words. I wish I could write a song, music to convey, words to remind us of this incredible interaction contained in three simple verses.
May God richly bless your day. Know that our battle is ultimately for God’s kingdom. Lean on each other for strength, but let us not forget our main mission.