St. Peter has many distinctions. He was the rock upon which the Church was built. He was renamed Peter by Jesus. He walked on water - very briefly. He was our first Pope. He is also the only apostle called “Satan” by Jesus. You read that right.
In Mark 8, Peter hears Jesus’ prediction of His own passion. He responds by pulling Jesus aside and rebuking Him. (The common definition of rebuke is to “express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.”
How does Jesus respond? He says, “Get behind me, Satan!” It is of importance here to understand “satan” means adversary. Why is Jesus referring to Peter as his adversary?
Peter is trying to block the suffering of Jesus. He can hardly be blamed. He doesn’t want His friend and savior to suffer. Isn’t that a good quality?
It is - on the surface. Eventually, we remember suffering is a good thing when it is used as fuel. Trying to block that is blocking someone else’s blessing.
Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection brought about salvation. A woman whose child passes away can walk with others who have lost a child in a way no one else can. Someone who has been homeless tends to do more for those who still are. Prayers for those we struggle to even like carry an extra grace because of the suffering attached.
Here is a great resolution for us all: embrace suffering (as best we can), use it for the glory of God, and not make Jesus refer to us as His adversaries.
Questions? Comments? Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org.BACK TO LIST