The Rise and Fall of Peter (Mk 8:27-33)
Lord Jesus, lift me up and I will be secure in your arms.
Picture Jesus with his apostles.
This text is central to Mark’s gospel (exactly the midpoint) and contains the two themes of the gospel. For many chapters, the people have been wondering, “Who is this Jesus?” Peter answers that Jesus is the Messiah (Theme one). Then Jesus predicts his suffering and shows that he will be a suffering Messiah (Theme two). Later, Peter uses his human intellect and fails miserably.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus and his disciples set out for Caesarea Philippi. On the way, he asked them, “Whom do people say I am?” They answered, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “Whom do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Christ.” Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone.
He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, be rejected by the elders, the high priests and the scribes and be killed. After three days, he would rise again.
Peter took Jesus aside and disagreed with him. Jesus turned back to the disciples and rebuked Peter, “Get out of my sight, Satan. You are not judging by God’s standards but by man’s.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The people’s opinions about Jesus are confused. They are the same ideas which King Herod had.
- Jesus asks for the disciples’ opinion.
- Peter’s response is true. He has seen clearly that Jesus is the Messiah.
- Quickly, Jesus tells his disciples that he will be a suffering Messiah.
- Peter responds in an all too human way. He refuses to accept a Messiah who must suffer.
- He has become a Satan, an obstacle, a stumbling block to the others.
- So Jesus must publicly reprimand him for using his limited intellect to grasp God’s plan.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, the world is so confused and refuses to acknowledge you.
- You are deeply interested in what I think about you.
- You are deeply interested in my opinion about you.
- For me, You are the messiah, the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer.
- You are a suffering Messiah and I need faith to follow you.
- Shatter my human thinking. Destroy the limits that I would put upon you.
- “Come” you say. “Let us walk together to Calvary.” I am coming, Jesus.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ Today, I will pray often, “Jesus, you are my Messiah.”
+ I will ponder this mystery.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Peter replied, “You are the Christ” (the anointed one).