Daily Bible Reading – 2.12.2021

Rev. Ben Lovell   -  
Daily Bible Reading – 2.12.2021:
Mark 8:31-33 (NIV) – He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Pastor Doug’s Comments:
These verses begin a section that is structured around three blocks of material. Each section begins with a declaration of Jesus’ future rejection, death, and resurrection. Each declaration was followed by the disciples misunderstanding and Jesus’ corrective instruction. These repetitions reveal how central Jesus’ suffering would be for the kingdom of God. This stands in stark contrast to the power and authority of Jesus’ words and miracles we have found up until now.
We are told that Jesus spoke plainly about this in contrast to him speaking in parables. He wanted to dismiss the misunderstood Messianic expectations that Peter and the disciples had. As seen by Peter rebuking Jesus for saying such things, he was clueless to the full understanding of the role of the Messiah, a role that Isaiah had prophesied.
But as Jesus looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter! It was a rebuke of their views. It was a rebuke of Satan trying to tempt him to take the shortcut and bypass the cross. Peter was thinking of only his own concerns and refused to see the larger picture of God’s plan.
Such human concerns include a love of power and status as seen in Herod and the Pharisees and later in the disciples’ jockeying for greatness. These concerns are what occupy Satan’s realm, but God’s concerns are described in Isaiah after announcing the role of the coming Servant. Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Questions To Consider/Discuss:
We will not always understand God’s higher ways, but we can trust they are the ways that bring the best possible life. Is there anything you are struggling to understand? Will you trust God anyway?