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.”
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: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.