“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. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.  33 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.”  34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”  (Mark 8:31—38)


            Jesus began to teach his disciples that he would suffer many things.  The elders, the chief priests, and the law teachers will reject him.  Moreover, he MUST be killed.  But after three days, he rose again.  Jesus knew the plans of God for him included suffering of many things.  Jesus spoke plainly to his disciples.  Peter, upon hearing it, didn’t like what he was saying and pulled him to the side and rebuked him. 

            No one wants a plan that includes the suffering of many things.  Every one of us desires plans with no suffering or at least minimum suffering.  Jesus knew the plans of God include difficulties.  The enemies of God’s plans are Satan’s counter plan and human concerns.  These two counters often stop many from pursuing the concerns of God in their lives or plans.  Satan also speaks whenever one seeks God’s concerns and plans for their life.  So many times, we hear our human concerns and the voice of Satan over God’s voice and concerns.  God is not the only voice that we must be aware of.  Be mindful of your voice and Satan’s voice trying to convince you that your challenges and suffering are never part of God’s concerns and plans. 

            Jesus knew the spirit behind Peter precisely.  Satan uses Peter to try and deter the plan of salvation that Jesus came to give.  I do not know what Peter said to Jesus, but Mark said he rebuked him.  It is clear from here that in that rebuke, Jesus knew that Peter was not speaking, but Satan was.  Human concerns are mentioned but need to be spelled out. 

It could be that Peter was saying, why do you speak with such language about suffering and must be killed?  Who would want to follow someone who is going to die?  Who wants to follow a suffering Messiah?  Why do we need to go through suffering?  It’s a shame to follow someone so powerful but be killed afterward.   I’m not sure what human concerns Peter said, but

Jesus’ response to Peter gave me some thoughts.  Jesus said, “GET BEHIND ME SATAN, YOU DO NOT HAVE IN MIND THE CONCERNS OF GOD, BUT MERELY HUMAN CONCERNS.  Peter was rebuked instead.  Jesus continued, anyone who wants to be my disciples must deny themselves, take their cross, and follow him.  The way of a disciple is to rid human concerns opposing God’s concerns and plans. 

I can’t honestly say I am a disciple of Jesus if I am only concerned about saving myself from anything that will bring me suffering and uneasiness.  I can’t be indeed a disciple of Jesus to gain the whole world of human concerns and not what God is concerned about.  I can’t be indeed a disciple of Jesus if I am ashamed of his sufferings and claims. 

I am reminded today that there is no way God will give me his plans without suffering to be a part of what he wants to accomplish in my life.  Jesus learned obedience from the things he suffered.  There is no place where the test of obedience is genuinely seen when I learn to suffer having a choice between my human concerns and God’s concerns.  The way of the cross is the litmus test of a lifestyle Jesus wants Peter and all who follow him to know.


            I truly am full of human concerns regarding challenges and the thought of suffering.  I know I must learn to suffer well.  Today, I am reminded that there is no way I can follow Jesus without accepting that there will be times of suffering filtering in God’s concerns and plans in my life.  I want to live my life accepting God’s concern and walk in obedience to all he has in his plans for my life, whether the assignment is with less suffering or tremendous suffering.  May my life be his and pleasing to him. 


            Jesus, I am challenged and corrected in my thinking today.  Thank you for pointing out to me the dangers of having human concerns and not your concerns leading my life.  I pray that you help me discern your will and purpose in all you do in my life.  Help me to hear your voice over the voice of my human reasoning and Satan.  Amen!