Mark 8:31- And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. NKJV
I’m amazed at how often I hear people say that salvation is free. They aren’t lying, but what I say in my mind is that it is free to us, but it was not free! Most things in life worth having, comes with a cost and this beautiful life with Jesus has the greatest price tag ever! His Blood!
When we started in the book of Mark, I shared that the portrait of Jesus in this gospel is that of the Suffering Servant. Thus far, what we have seen from the Pharisees and religious leaders have been minimal in comparison to what He will experience. We have seen them angry with Jesus. They have tried to trap Jesus with His words. They have tested Him with His compassion. And they have tried to turn others away from Him. But up to this point they have only been harassing Him.
Now, Jesus begins to teach them about what is getting ready to happen to Him!
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.Mark 8:31 NKJV
The Son of Man must suffer many things. There is a saying, “Things will get worst before they will get better!” That was Jesus’ message to them. He told the disciples that He would be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and scribes. Nobody foretold of this time better than Isaiah:
He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.Isaiah 53:3 NKJV
The phrase “be rejected” in the Greek is apodokimasthēnai, and it literally means “to disapprove of”. The evidence is there for all to see, how very much the scribes and Pharisees disapproved of Jesus. They didn’t like one thing about Him! And they allowed that to fester in their hearts to the extent of wanting to commit murder! We need to be really careful about what we allow to fester in our own hearts!
One commentator wrote that the phrase “be rejected” meant “failed to pass the scrutiny.” We know that the Pharisees felt that Jesus failed to pass their scrutiny of Him, but surprisingly this word, according to the commentator, means that they failed to pass God’s scrutiny of them! How many people today are in the same position that the Pharisees were in, thinking that they were in a place to approve or disapprove of Jesus, when in actuality, they were the ones who were found lacking?
He told the disciples that He would be killed. What? This is Jesus, the Messiah! Son of the living God! He heals the sick, open blind eyes, cause the deaf to hear, and the mute to speak. The lame walk at His word and demons flee upon command. And now He is saying that He will be killed? I’m sure the disciples were a confused bunched of people! And if that wasn’t enough, He said after three days He would rise again. They probably didn’t hear the rise again part because they were shocked that He would speak of being killed!
He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”Mark 8:32-33 NKJV
A few verses earlier, Peter boldly proclaims that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. So when he hears Jesus talking like this, he thinks he has a right to tell Jesus that He has gone too far! Peter rebukes Jesus! Say what? I know he didn’t! Yes, he did! Meshuga! Yiddish word for he is crazy! But surprisingly, it appears that while the others may be wondering what Jesus is talking about, Peter seems to understand exactly what He is saying! Jesus will be murdered! Peter cannot accept this! Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ! He has come to reign in the kingdom that He has been speaking of. A glorious kingdom. The best one of all! Matthew let’s us in on what Peter said to Jesus:
Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”Matthew 16:22 NKJV
No way is this going to happen to you Jesus! No way! Then Jesus in turn rebukes Peter!
“Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”Mark 8:33 NKJV
Peter went from Jesus’ approval to being rebuked! It was the plan of God for Jesus to die. He had to pay the cost that no other being, human or otherwise, could pay. For Peter to so strongly protest His death was the devil! Jesus didn’t say, “Peter, I rebuke you!” He said, “Get behind Me, Satan!” He was dealing with the devil, who was using Peter, to interfere with the plan of God!
Now don’t get all sanctimonious on me! You know very well that there are times when someone says something to you or someone else and you know it’s the devil talking! Even when you really love that person! You are not saying that they are possessed by the devil, but they yielded to him for that moment in time when they said those words that were crushing to your spirit. Yep! That was the devil himself! Or at least, one of his demons!
Jesus points out an interesting nugget here. He said that Peter was mindful of the things of men, and not the things of God. Is it possible that when we get so carried away with what is happening in this world that we lose focus of what God is doing? Is it possible that we can find ourselves in the same place that Peter was in? More mindful of the the things of the world? Is God waiting to rebuke us? Scary thought!
I got carried away with this blog and had to cut out a chunk of it for another day! I started this blog by stating that salvation wasn’t free. Not from the viewpoint of heaven. It cost Jesus His life! It cost Him humiliation! It cost Him a time of separation from God, something He had never experienced. It cost Him dearly!
So the next time you think of your this great salvation that you enjoy, thank Him for the cost He so willingly paid, that we might experience it so freely! Wonderful Jesus!