Christ’s Mission vs. Peter’s Satanic Mindset | Mark 8:31–33

31 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. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 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.”

Scripture here begins describing the Lord’s movement toward the cross—v. 27 said they were “on the way,” and Luke 9:51 says that Jesus will eventually set His face like flint toward Jerusalem.  So, Jesus now begins to explain what it really means for Him to be the Christ.  Peter makes that grand declaration in v. 29, but here, he demonstrates a woeful lack of clarity.  What is Christ’s mission?

The Christ must suffer.  Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was despised … a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”  While He walked the earth, He endured the temptations common to man and became a Great High Priest able to sympathize with us (Hb 4:15).

The Christ must be rejected and killed.  Isaiah 53:3 also says that Christ is to be rejected, and His suffering leads to His death (v. 9).  The Sanhedrin (the leadership of the day)—elders, priests, and scribes—reject Him and have Him put to death.  However, this was all in the plan of God (Acts 2:23).

The Christ must rise again.  The kingdom of the Son of Man is supposed to be eternal (Dan 7:13, 27).  For the Christ to rule so on David’s throne, He will have to raise in an eternal, incorruptible body (Acts 13:36–37).  As such, the resurrection is an essential part of the gospel (1 Cor 15:3–4).

Peter didn’t understand the complete mission of Christ.  If the Son of Man of Daniel’s vision is to rule forever, then how can He die?  He didn’t understand that the path to that exaltation would be through Christ’s humiliation (Phili 2:5–10). 

Not understanding what Christ has planned is not a sin, but actively opposing His revealed plan is.  Just like Peter discovered, anyone demanding that Jesus differently acts like Satan.  If you value your sin or this world above the gospel message, then yours is an unholy mindset more akin to the devil than to God.  Repent and believe in the written Word… while you may.

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