27 Jesus and his disciples went into the villages near Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They told him, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” 30 Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about him. 31 Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts, and be killed, and then, after three days, rise from the dead.” 32 He said this plainly. But Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him. 33 Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, then sternly corrected Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.” 34 After calling the crowd together with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 35 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them. 36 Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? 37 What will people give in exchange for their lives? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:27-38, CEB)
Who do you say that I am?
You are the Christ, the one we are waiting for, the savior of the world. Peter said this because he knew it was true. And then when Jesus started talking about what was going to happen to him and it didn’t fit Peter’s thoughts, Peter said it would never happen.
And Jesus responds with the words he said to Simon and Andrew way back at the shoreline, Follow me. Is that what Jesus said to Peter here?
The translation here is get behind me. But if you look at the Greek, the same phrase is used. In Mark 1, when Jesus calls Simon and Andrew to follow him, Jesus says, “ὀπίσω μου” and here in chapter 8, Jesus says to Peter, “ὀπίσω μου,”. Looks the same to me, and it means get behind me, or follow me. We think that when Jesus calls the disciples it is a come along with me and walk beside me. And it is really a get in line behind me and do what I ask you to do. These are not suggestions and your way is not the right way. Jesus really is a my way or the highway kind of guy.
And he continues on after his reminder to Peter of what a disciple is. You have to take up your cross and follow. If you lose your life and live the one Jesus gives you you will have life, but if you fight for your life, you won’t even get that.
Give up and look for the back of Jesus’ head and know that is the best place for you.
Love People. Love God.