I’m reading my way thru Mark right now. Generally studying it with this question in mind: what can I learn from Jesus in this?
Today I was a little distracted by what I can learn from Peter.
And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say,Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.
And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? Forwhoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” Mark 8:27-9:1
What struck me this morning was that Peter kind of goes full circle thru this very brief section of scripture.
He’s walking with Jesus and talking about who people say Jesus is, when Jesus asks Peter “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” Peter confesses that Jesus is indeed the Christ! The one promised Messiah that he was raised to watch and wait for! Jesus was him!
Then, as Jesus is sitting with his disciples, he goes on to predict his death. Peter’s faith is NEW and fresh and he is madly in love with this man that he has just confessed as the promised Messiah! And now – this Christ tells him that he will suffer and die. Peter is blown away! Not his Christ! In front of all the disciples Christ rebukes Peter – calling out the enemy in calling him “Satan”! Talk about a low point…
But, in the graciousness and kindness of the heart of our King, he ends this time of teaching about his death by saying that some of those standing in his presence will not die before the kingdom of God comes with power!
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. Acts 2:14
Peter, you are the tool that God used to bring more than 3,000 people into the kingdom – with power – on that day of Pentecost!
I’m thankful for you. I’m thankful that your faith was new and fresh. I’m thankful that you trembled in fear and doubt. I’m thankful that God’s promise to use you was true. I’m thankful that on days when my fear is crippling and faith is fractured, I can trust that God’s kingdom comes with power that isn’t dependent on me or my gifts.