Lesson 209-February 16, 2020
Lesson: “Jesus the Messiah-Part II”
Scripture: Mark 8:31-34; Matthew 16:21-23
Lesson Goal: To better understand the importance of surrendering to God’s plans than yielding to man’s ways.
Introduction: A. T. Robertson, “To the disciples it was incongruous and incomprehensible that the Messi-ah should die. They had as yet no room for the suffering Messiah in their theology. It is significant that in Mark’s Gospel the atonement finds a real place. His sacrificial death was the real purpose of His earthly life. He came to give life to men, but this gift of life was made possible by His own death.”
Mark 8:32-He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
Jesus had spoken these words to the disciples with distinctive clarity. These were not words of a parable. These words were plain and clear.
Question: What facts concerning His Messiahship did Jesus make clear in Mark 8:31 and Matthew 16:21?
Question: What about these facts became the most difficult for the disciples’ comprehension and understand-ing?
(v32b) Then Peter took Him (Jesus) aside and began to rebuke Him.
Question: Why do you think Peter did this?
Peter wanted to deal with this matter privately with Jesus. The word “rebuke” is a very strong word. “It means to reprove, censure, or warn in order to prevent an action from happening, or bring one that is in process to an end. Peter vigorously sought to prevent Christ from going to Jerusalem where death would certainly en-sue.” (Pentecost) According to Wiersbe, “Peter’s response certainly represented the feelings of the rest of the disciples.”
For Peter and the twelve, Jesus’ words rocked them to the core. What had gone from a highlight moment in affirmation of Jesus as the Messiah (v29), now quickly turns to a moment of question for the Twelve. Let us remember their question was not concerning the fact of Jesus’ Messiahship but rather a question of “what kind” and “how” of His Messiahship.
Jesus had used some words that brought misunderstanding to the minds of the disciples as they thought on His Messiahship. Words such as “suffer,” “rejected,” “be killed,” and even “rise again.” This was not the agenda the apostles had in mind for Jesus. In their experience, the future looked bright. Jesus had been winning victo-ries at every turn. He silenced His critics with flawless logic. He healed thousands. He put demons to flight everywhere He went. He taught spell binding lessons. As a result, He attracted more followers with each passing day. Besides all that, the disciples were just beginning to imitate The Master (just beginning to get it). Just when things started looking hopeful, Jesus announced that He, their one and only leader, would die.!” (Swindoll)
Although in the same sentence Jesus had spoken of His resurrection the disciples could not get passed the suf-fering and dying part. For Jesus the path of glory would go by way of the cross. The disciples did not under-stand nor realize it but soon Jesus would help them to understand that without the cross there is no crown.
Question: How is it in our human nature we desire the crown without the cross?
Peter could not take it. Peter responded in a private rebuke of Jesus. “Peter could not accept the idea that Je-sus would have to suffer and die; that was contrary to his image of the Messiah. Neither did he want to think that his Lord and Master would be slain by His foes.” (MacDonald) Peter couldn’t stand it any longer. This in Peter’s mind could not possibly be right. “Be killed,” incredible, no for Peter, impossible! Peter had missed the “rise again” part. He was completely enthralled by the thought that the Messiah would suffer and die. Pe-ter and the disciples “had grasped the idea of Jesus the Messiah, but it was vitally important that they should know what kind of Messiah He was. Jesus must experience the things enumerated in (v31) if He was to fulfill His role as the Redeemer.” (Hobbs)
(v33) But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God but the things of men.”
Jesus “turned around.” “turn around” Greek “epistrepho” meaning “to turn” but with the prefix attached “epi” makes this verb intensive in force.
Jesus suddenly and vigorously turned away or about from Peter to look at the other apostles. To say that Jesus was not pleased by Peter’s words of rebuke would be an all time understatement. Peter could not handle the thought of Jesus suffering and dying but Jesus would not let this serve as a temptation for Him to avoid the cross. Jesus strong words “Get behind Me, Satan,” speaks clearly to Satan’s intended ploy to get Jesus to avoid the cross and to receive the Kingdom in some other way. (Please see Luke 4:13). Jesus was not accus-ing or insinuating that Peter was Satan or possessed of Satan. Peter was presenting an alternative to God’s plan just as Satan would do. Satan always presents a counterfeit to the real. Satan presents a seemingly easier route for the believer to follow and in this specific case for Jesus the Messiah to follow. Satan falsely offers the crown without the cross.
Hershel Hobbs offers some powerful words for our consideration. “Here (v33) was Satan’s temptation all over again to avoid the cross and to receive the Kingdom in some other way. And this time Satan spoke through one of Jesus own inner circle! Satan would rather work through a saint than through a notorious sinner any time!” Please see James 3:10.
Question: What was Peter’s mistake in today’s passage?
Question: From Peter’s vantage point what was he trying to accomplish that brought Jesus’ rebuke in today’s Scripture?