Last Sunday’s Gospel had Jesus laud Peter and place in his hands the awesome responsibility for binding and loosing on earth, a binding and loosing which would be accepted by heaven too.
And yet now Peter, perhaps even consciously choosing to step up to the plate, and exercise some of that responsibility delegated to him, on behalf of Jesus and the disciples finds that he has over stepped the mark;, misjudged the situation;, failed to understand the full cost of discipleship; and is now called Satan by the Lord he knows to be the Christ the Son of the living God.
Peter who moments before was praised for learning from God the Father, is now firmly put in his place and told he thinks in man’s way but not as God thinks.
How easy it would have been for Peter to have slunk away, shamed and dispirited. Yet that he did not. The disciple learnt he was still disciple, and opened himself to correction and to learning anew from the Lord who served him.
Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
~ Translation of Scriptures:the Jerusalem Bible © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.
~ Commentary: (c) 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photo: (c) 2017, Allen Morris. St Peter. Detail of icon in collection of Ferens Gallery, Hull.