September 17, 2012

Mark 8:33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

The language of the New Testament, and the Old Testament for that matter, didn’t use capital and lower case letters the way we do today. Satan is a Hebrew word meaning adversary or opponent and became the term for the supreme adversary or opponent of God in biblical usage. Here, Jesus uses it to refer to Peter. There was a saying that I heard more when I was growing up than I do today that goes, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” In a different part of the gospels Jesus is quoted as saying, “whoever is not for me is against me.” Gentle Jesus with the children on his knee was also the heir of the prophets who confronted people to choose with their whole lives to follow him, to be part of the kingdom of God, to join God’s family, you choose the metaphor. Whichever way you speak of it this passage and the whole theme of the bible is that God is doing something different from the normal course of human events. Jesus said he must suffer, be rejected, and die. Peter said, “no way.” Jesus said, “way.” There is a tension in life to choose. The natural inertia is to choose the things that feel good now. Jesus calls us to follow a different way. Are you following God this week or do you have “merely human concerns?”

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