“But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.’” (Mark 8:33)
Our Gospel passage today explains how Jesus established the Church as a separate entity from Judaism by making Peter the first Pope. To find out which of his disciples was most qualified for this office, Jesus asked them: “Who do you say that I am?”
Only Peter answered correctly: “You are the Christ.” In other words: “You are God in human flesh.” Jesus was so impressed by Peter’s response that He said: “It is not flesh and blood that has revealed this you.” (Cf. Matthew’s Gospel). Jesus then proceeded to tell the disciples about how He would suffer many things and even be killed but would rise again after three days.
However, this prediction of Jesus did not go down well with Peter: “No, this cannot happen, you shouldn’t suffer, you are meant to go from glory to glory, abundance flows in your steps, your portion is prosperity.” Peter, like many of us today was approaching the Gospel from a purely materialistic and worldly perspective.
Jesus called Peter “Satan” for attempting to dissuade Him from the path of suffering saying “you are not on the side of God but of men.” Do you sometimes wonder how Jesus feels when we begin to reject suffering and pain on the basis of our Christian identity?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, in my desire to build for you, save me from becoming worldly-minded, save me from the worship of riches. Make me realize that suffering is part of life. Amen.
Bible Study: James 2:1-9, Ps. 34:2-7, Mark 8:27-33).