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Mark 8:27-35

The Word of God

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

Mark 8:27-35
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest”. This line from a song entitled “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel could be applied, without irreverence to Peter. Peter, speaking on behalf of the other disciples, has just proclaimed his belief that Jesus truly is the long-awaited Messiah. Like all the rest of us Peter wanted to hear this consoling message.
    • He found the rest of what Jesus had to say less palatable. He didn’t want to hear about suffering, rejection, killing but also rising from the dead. It must have been a great shock to Peter to hear himself called Satan! Jesus then turned to all those listening to him and that includes you and me - “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves” etc.
    • In life there are two crosses; the cross of Satan and the Cross of Christ. We have to choose. At the beginning the former will seem light and pleasant. With the passage of time, however, it will get heavier and heavier, leading to sadness and heartbreak. The latter may seem heavy at the start. It will get ever lighter and lighter in the long run, leading to a happiness without end.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • There is a movement in this text today. We can answer the question for ourselves as to who do I think that Jesus is. It is a gift from God to take Him as your Saviour, and he explains that that will cost him a lot of suffering. Peter is unable to understand this and argues with Jesus about it.
    • There is a bit of Peter in all of us – we find the Cross of Jesus hard to take – there should be no necessity for that. Jesus goes further – each of us will have our own share of suffering but the suffering Jesus can be a close friend to us because he understands suffering.
    • If you ask Jesus ‘who does He think you are’, His answer might be ‘The one I love’. It is lovely to hear him say that to you.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • 'Who do people say I am?... But who do you say I am?' There is always a certain mystery surrounding Jesus, not only throughout the gospels but even today. My answer to that question becomes a commitment to his person as I understand it.
    • Perhaps the biggest mystery surrounding Jesus is the clear link he establishes between suffering on the cross and his mission. It was so important for him, that any attempt to make him change his mind was for him clearly evil, coming from Satan. I ask for the grace to penetrate this mystery ever more, and to be willing to follow him in denying myself and carrying my own cross.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • This is a painful scene: first Peter rebukes Jesus, then Jesus rebukes Peter. We can sympathise with Peter, because which of us can bear the thought of our best friend being tortured and killed? But Jesus tells Peter that God’s plans are so much bigger than he imagines.
    • Someone has said that God’s dreams come to us several sizes too large! It takes us time to grow into them. What about my inner growth – have I stopped growing at some point, so that God cannot do more creative work with me?
    • Lord, let me be open to your unrestricted dreams for me, even though they involve change and pain and ultimately, death. This is the way to eternal joy.