PETER AND THE CRUCIFIED MESSIAH
27Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” 28They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” 29And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” 30And He warned them to tell no one about Him. 31And 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. 32And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” 34And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37“For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mk 8:27–38)
21From 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 be raised up on the third day. 22Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests (or ‘the things of God’), but man’s.” (Mt 16:21–23)
A. Revelation and Rebuke
- And He warned them to tell no one about Him
- Several factors could contribute to why Jesus did not desire His messianic status to be made known in widespread ways. The gravity of the will of God being obeyed in future sacrifice, knowing what was in man (Jn. 2:25) – He avoided the arrogant swells toward self-exaltation and power, and the context of messianic claimants of His day being crushed by political powers all played into this (along with others).
- 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.
- Necessary (cf. Lk. 9:22; 17:25; 24:26; Matt. 26:54)
- Rejected (as allusion to Ps. 118 – seen later in passage of wicked tenants – Mark 12:1-12)
22The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. (Ps 118:22)
- And He was stating the matter plainly.
- ‘Plainly’ (Gk. parrēsia̧) is translated in NT variously as: boldly, confidently, openly, and publically.
“As Schweizer says, the phrase “he made this very clear to them” should be compared with the similar phrase in 2:2 and 4:33. The emphasis in the phrase is on the importance of the remark just made or about to be made. Peter’s response to the first passion prediction indicates he understands quite well what Jesus is saying—he just doesn’t like it.” 
- And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
The word for “rebuke” (Gk. epitiman; see further at 4:39) is customarily used for rebuking demons, that is, the worst and most ultimate form of evil. The use of this word with reference to Peter’s rebuke of Jesus indicates the degree of Jesus’ error about suffering messiahship in Peter’s mind. 
“Began” (cf. v. 21) suggests that Peter gets only so far before Jesus cuts him off (v. 23). Peter uses very strong language. “Never, Lord!” [see further comment in footnote ] is a vehement Septuagintalism….. Peter’s strong will and warm heart linked to his ignorance produce a shocking bit of arrogance. 
- But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan
- The command to ‘get behind’ is clearly a rebuke, however it can also carry a sense similar to the idea of “fall back in line, behind Me” (i.e. with the other disciples). This could strongly enforce the idea of “Follow Me” in the way of suffering unto death in the following statements.
“It is intriguing that the very same phrase οπισω μου [behind me] occurs in both v. 33 and v. 34. In the first instance, when coupled with a strong verb, it means “get behind me” or even “get out of my sight,” but in the second case it means what it normally means elsewhere in Mark, namely, “after me,” which, when coupled with the verb “to follow,” means “to follow after me” (i.e., “be my disciple, follow my example”) or even “get in line behind me.” Peter has a choice—he can either be a hindrance or obstacle serving Satan and so be something Jesus must leave behind on the way to the cross, or he can be a follower of Jesus, in which case he gets in line behind Jesus, takes up his own cross, and prepares for suffering as Jesus is doing.” 
- ‘Satan’ (σατανᾶ) transliterates the Hebrew śāṭān, which means opponent or adversary.
[Commenting on Matthews parallel] Satan offered Jesus the kingdom without the cross at Jesus’ temptation (4:8–9); Peter now offers the same temptation and encounters the same title (4:10; Cullmann 1956b: 27). In the early Christian perspective, the devil influenced this world so deeply that the world’s values were quite often the devil’s values (Jas 3:15; 4:7; Eph 2:1–3; 4:25–27); by valuing the things humans value (such as lack of suffering), Peter shows himself to be in league with the devil (16:23). The religious leaders later echoed Satan’s temptation as well (27:42–43). That Peter is a “stumbling block” (16:23; not in Mark) again plays on his name: the “rock” could have negative as well as positive functions
- for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.
33But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mk 8:33 NIV)
“Mark’s context defines the content of “things (or thoughts) of God” (τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ) as having to do with the necessity of Jesus’ suffering and death. God’s purposes will be accomplished by the obedience of his Son, even to death. The “things of humans” (τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων), whether Jewish or Roman, would be oriented toward conquest and assertion of power.” 
- And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
- Jesus includes the crowd in the call to bear the cross. No one is exempt from the cost of discipleship He is demanding.
- The call for the disciple to take up his cross and follow refers to crucifixion, the Roman means of execution and standard answer to the revolts of the day and all that they entailed. The call to take up the cross is the call to embrace martyrdom. 
Those who would follow Jesus and proclaim him as judge of the living and the dead must be prepared to die for their faith. Not all will die as martyrs, of course, but all must embrace martyrdom at a heart level. This is the “cost” of being a disciple (cf. Luke 14:25–35). 
ὀπίσω μου [after Me] is used here not as in v. 33 but in its more normal NT sense (see 1:17, 20 etc.), and the double use alongside it of ἀκολουθέω [follow] (cf. 1:18; 2:14) confirms that we have here a basic condition of discipleship. It is to join Jesus on the way to execution.
27“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (Lk 14:27)
If disciples “come after” and imitate their teacher, their lives are forfeit from the moment they begin following him…Although genuine disciples may fall short on their commitment at times ([Matthew]26:69–75), the Gospel tradition emphasizes that those who wish to follow Jesus must understand from the start that they are surrendering their lives to him. From this perspective, most modern Western Christians remain unconverted, a point we should grasp to grapple effectively with the impact Jesus’ words would have had on his own contemporaries.
- “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
- “Wishing” to follow Jesus (vs. 34) is set opposite of “wishing” to save one’s life (vs. 35).
The promise of true life is not attached to death in itself, but to the loss of life…The possibility of literal martyrdom as the outcome of Christian discipleship is clearly envisaged here; cf. 13:9 (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ) [for Me]. Jesus’ expectation of his own death must have raised this possibility, and the experiences of the early church from Acts 7 onwards would add weight to it. The specific mention of the εὐαγγέλιον [gospel] as the cause of loss of life indicates that the disciples are to play an active role in mission rather than merely privately following the teaching of Jesus, and that it is in this missionary work that they are likely to meet with persecution and death.
26“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. (Lk 14:26)
25“He who loves (verb – present, active: ‘is loving’) his life loses (‘is losing’) it, and he who hates (‘is hating’) his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26“If anyone serves (present, active) Me, he must follow (present, active, imperative) Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves (present, active) Me, the Father will honor him. (Jn 12:25–26) 
- “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37“For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
- 3What advantage does man have in all his work Which he does under the sun? (Ec 1:3)
- 7No man can by any means redeem his brother Or give to God a ransom for him— 8For the redemption of his soul is costly, And he should cease trying forever— 9That he should live on eternally, That he should not undergo decay. (Ps 49:7–9)
- “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
B. Examining Peter’s Responses
- Most likely, Peter was sympathetic toward the zealot movement within the sect of Pharisaic Judaism of his day (house of Shammai and others). This movement found context from the Maccabean revolts and its distinctive perspective caused men to relate to the prophetic promises of the God of Israel as necessarily synergistic; meaning their view of the promises of God required the cooperation of man’s strength for them to be accomplished. This manifested itself with the rising up of the strength of man with political revolts and attempts to overthrow Gentile occupying powers.
- Peter’s rebuke of Jesus after confessing His identity as the Messiah of Israel was in light of Jesus’ prediction of suffering and death as the Messiah; one that was incongruent with Peter’s more zealous views concerning the establishment of the Son of David in Jerusalem.
- Peter’s innate response in Gethsemane
10Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” (Jn 18:10–11)
52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. (Mt 26:52)
- Peter’s denial of Jesus in the midst of the crucifixion events was likely related to his disappointment due to his zealot-leaning Messianic expectations. This Man from Nazareth in whom he had put his hope to restore the Davidic kingdom was brutally crucified as a seemingly embarrassing climax to a short season of public ministry; in the same manner as other failed messianic claimants of the day. 
- At Peter’s restoration, Jesus calls Peter to love and lay down his life for the sheep as He did (Jn. 10:11) and speaks concerning the way Peter would bring glory to God through his death.
18“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” 19Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me! [Matt. 10:38; Jn. 13:36-37]” (Jn 21:18–19)
- When we look at the content of Peter’s writing inspired by the Holy Spirit (both emphasis in Mark and 1 & 2 Peter), we see that he humbled himself unto the way of the cross and sought to model and accent it to his audience. His zeal was reoriented to follow the Crucified in His way.
21For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. (1 Pe 2:21–25)
13Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, (1 Pe 3:13–14)
1Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. (1 Pe 4:1–2)
12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. (1 Pe 4:12–16)
1Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Pe 5:1–4)
 Ben Witherington III, The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2001), 243.
 James R. Edwards, The Gospel according to Mark, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos, 2002), 255.
 D. A. Carson, “Matthew,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 8 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), 377.
 Carson, comments on the language of Peter’s response: Ἵλεώς σοι, κύριε (Hileōs soi, kyrie, “Never, Lord”) has been understood two ways. 1. The word hileōs, used in the NT only here and in Heb 8:12, is taken to mean “propitious,” “merciful,” “gracious”; and the entire expression is an abbreviation of something longer, either ἵλεως εἴη σοι ὁ θεός (hileōs eiē soi ho theos, “May God be merciful to you”) or ἵλεως ἔσται σοι ὁ θεός (hileōs estai soi ho theos, “God will be merciful to you”). Coupled with what Peter next says, the rebuke is still there but in rather soft language: “This won’t happen to you, Lord, for God will be merciful to you” or “may God be merciful to you” (cf. Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 240; TDNT, 3:300–301). 2. It is far more likely that hileōs is merely a homonymic rendering of the Hebrew חָלִילָה (ḥālîlāh, “far be it from”). This is a common Septuagintalism and has the force in confrontational situations of a very strong “Never!” or “Be it far from you!” or “God forbid!” [D. A. Carson, “Matthew,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 8 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), 378.]
 Ben Witherington III, The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2001), 243–244.
 Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009), 433–434.
 Craig A. Evans, Mark 8:27–16:20, vol. 34B, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2001), 19.
 “One of the repeated emphases of the entire New Testament is that it is the very nature of the church to be a martyr people. When Jesus taught that a man to be his disciple must deny himself and take up his cross (Matt. 10:38; 16:24), he was not speaking of self-denial or the bearing of heavy burdens; he was speaking of willingness to suffer martyrdom. The cross is nothing else than an instrument of death. Every disciple of Jesus is in essence a martyr” (G. E. Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972], 104).
 John P. Harrigan, The Gospel of Christ Crucified: A Theology of Suffering Before Glory (Paroikos Publishing, Kansas City, MO 2015).
 R. T. France, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 2002), 339.
 Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009), 434–435.
 R. T. France, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 2002), 341.
 “In this way Jesus equates service to God with hating life in this age and being led unto martyrdom—these the Father will honor with eternal life.” [John P. Harrigan, The Gospel of Christ Crucified: A Theology of Suffering Before Glory (Paroikos Publishing, Kansas City, MO 2015)]
 See also – “Theudas” Acts 5:36 [cf. Josephus Ant 20.97-99]; “Judas the Galilean” Acts 5:37 [cf. Josephus Ant 18.4, 9, 23-25, 20.102; Wars 2.56, 118, 433; 7.253]; and “the Egyptian” Acts 21:38 [cf. Josephus Wars 2.261].