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31 Then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and that he would be rejected by the Jewish elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law. He told them that the Son of Man must be killed and then rise from the dead after three days. 32 Jesus told them plainly what would happen. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to tell him not to talk like that. 33 But Jesus turned and looked at his followers. Then he told Peter not to talk that way. He said, “Go away from me, Satan! You don’t care about the things of God, but only about things people think are important.” ~ Mark 8:31-33
Today, we continue our study of Mark 8 where we discover the Lord Jesus leading His disciples toward what has been called the "Transfiguration" which took place on Mount Hermon. Now, Mount Hermon is 9,232 feet above sea level, the highest mountain in the Middle East. We can be sure the transfiguration took place on Mount Hermon because in Mark 8:27 the Lord Jesus and His disciples were traveling in that direction when Peter made the observation that the Lord Jesus was God.
In v.31 of today's passage we read, "Then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and that he would be rejected by the Jewish elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law. He told them that the Son of Man must be killed and then rise from the dead after three days."
This was the first of three times the Lord Jesus told the disciples that they were going to Jerusalem where He would be killed. Even though this was a foreign idea to the disciples, the Lord Jesus knew He was going to Jerusalem to die a horrific death in order to pay the penalty for that which separates people from God. As a result of His death, burial and resurrection, justification has been provided for all who place their trust in His finished work.
From the opening verses of Scripture, God is presented as eternal, independent, holy, loving, righteous, and good. One crucial implication of this description of God is that God, by nature, is the moral standard. This is why God’s law is not external to Him. The God of the Bible is the law; His will and His nature determine what is right and wrong. He is the ultimate definer of all things good.
A biblical view of God is foundational to understanding the cross of Calvary. God's “righteousness, justice, and holiness” are a threefold cord which largely makes up His nature. This is why God cannot overlook man's sin. This is why He can not just wink at sin and dismiss it. Sin had to be dealt with, otherwise it would have triumphed. God’s holy justice demands that He punish all sin.
As a result of the rebellion of Adam and Eve in the Garden, all people are conceived wicked, corrupt, and, therefore guilty before God. And, all are, therefore, under God's judicial sentence of death. Based upon God's moral perfection and man's imperfection, God decided to send His Son who willingly came to suffer the punishment for all of mankind's willful rebellion against God and all that is good and substantive. And, in order to redeem mankind, Christ had to become the ransom for man's freedom from sin. This results in man being able to enter into a personal relationship with God and therefore overcome the deceit of the evil one.
In v.32 of today's passage we read, "Jesus told them plainly what would happen. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to tell him not to talk like that."
Mark's gospel was written a bit different from the other three Gospel accounts because he received his information from none other than the Apostle Peter. Speaking for all the disciples, Peter took the Lord Jesus aside and tried to turn Him from the cross and His destiny. Can you imagine being in Peter's shoes, trying to turn around the execution of a plan that has always been eternal? And, Peter thought he was doing a noble thing. Oh, the deceit of the evil one.
In v.33 of today's passage we read, "But Jesus turned and looked at his followers. Then he told Peter not to talk that way. He said, “Go away from me, Satan! You don’t care about the things of God, but only about things people think are important."
After Peter spoke those words, the Lord Jesus responded with, “Go away from Me, Satan!” Of course, Peter was not Satan, but Peter's previous conclusion and demand was a temptation from Satan. God's presentation of the cross through the Scriptures is consistent and multifaceted. It’s like a beautiful gem that can be looked at from many angles. The cross of Christ is central to the New Covenant which results in the transformation of the willing human heart.
We have all been tempted with Satan's philosophy on life, and, his message is based upon selfishness and arrogance, and, he will always tempt us to put ourselves first. Satan never tries to get us to follow him or to worship him, He always appeals to our pride and arrogance. He knows that if he can get us to worship ourselves, we will be indirectly worshipping him.
When Peter resisted God's plan for the cross, he was siding himself with Satan without even knowing it. We live in a day when the evil one is lurking, seeking whom he may devour. We must be diligent to be defined by God's word, thus we will resist Satan's lures of selfishness, hatred, and lies. We must be diligent to stay close to God by talking to Him often and remaining in His word daily. God not only wants to rescue us from the diabolical schemes of the evil one, He wants to include us in on His rescuing efforts of others.