READ: Mark 9:2-13 (esp. v2)
- Jesus threw the disciples a curve when He immediately announced that He would “suffer, be rejected, and die.” That is clearly not what the Messiah was supposed to do. They expected the Messiah to free Israel from Roman bondage and give them back the glory days of David and Solomon. Jesus couldn’t do that if He was dead. And, actually, He will say this again two more times (9:31; 10:33-34).
- Peter’s response was swift, forceful and ongoing. He “began to rebuke Him” (v8:32). Jesus’ response was equally swift. He called Peter, “Satan”, and told him to assume his rightful place, behind Jesus. It was a swift and vigorous exchange. “Satan” means “adversary”, and it fits in this situation. Peter was taking an adversarial role in this situation. He was blocking Jesus’ path to His final destination—the cross.
- To be called Satan must have been hard. To hear Jesus call to deny self, give your life, and not be ashamed (v8:34) would simply magnify the guilt and pain. Then the narrator says (9:2), “six days later.” From a reader’s perspective, we have nothing but silence. We are allowed wonder what went through Peter’s mind during those haunting hours. But, that’s not the end of the story. Mark says, “Jesus took Peter…” Jesus extended grace. He always does. It’s amazing.
- Do you think Jesus overreacted? Wasn’t He a little harsh?
- In what way does, “He took Peter…,” indicate grace?
- Why do you think Peter rebuked Jesus? What was He seeking to accomplish?
PRAY: Thank God for His ongoing grace. Pray that you can listen to the voice of God even when He’s saying what you don’t want to hear. Commit to listening to Jesus.