Jesus rebukes Peter (Mk 8:33-8:33)

“But turning

And looking

At his disciples,

Jesus rebuked Peter.

He said.

‘Get behind me!

Satan!

You are setting

Your mind

Not on divine things,

But on human things.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἐπιστραφεὶς καὶ ἰδὼν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἐπετίμησεν Πέτρῳ καὶ λέγει Ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου, Σατανᾶ, ὅτι οὐ φρονεῖς τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀλλὰ τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

 

Jesus and Peter had a conversation that also can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:33.  Then Jesus turned against Peter (ὁ δὲ ἐπιστραφεὶς).  He looked at his disciples (καὶ ἰδὼν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  He then warned, rebuked, or admonished Peter (ἐπετίμησεν Πέτρῳ), just as he had done to him.  Jesus did not want an uprising among his followers.  He told him (καὶ λέγει) to get behind him (Ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου) because Peter was acting like Satan (Σατανᾶ), since he was only thinking or caring (ὅτι οὐ φρονεῖς) about human things (ἀλλὰ τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων), not divine things of God (τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Peter went from being a great leader to a tempting Satan trying to put obstacles in the way of a divine plan for Jesus.  Be careful when you speak out against a leader.

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The conversation between Peter and Jesus (Mt 16:22-16:23)

“Peter took Jesus.

He began to admonish him.

Saying.

‘God forbid it!

Lord!

This must never happen to you.’

But Jesus turned.

He said to Peter.

‘Get behind me!

Satan!

You are a stumbling block

To me!

You are not setting

Your mind

On things of God,

But on human things.’”

 

καὶ προσλαβόμενος αὐτὸν ὁ Πέτρος ἤρξατο ἐπιτιμᾶν αὐτῷ λέγων Ἵλεώς σοι, Κύριε· οὐ μὴ ἔσται σοι τοῦτο.

ὁ δὲ στραφεὶς εἶπεν τῷ Πέτρῳ Ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου, Σατανᾶ· σκάνδαλον εἶ ἐμοῦ, ὅτι οὐ φρονεῖς τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀλλὰ τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

 

Jesus and Peter had a conversation that also can be found in Mark, chapter 8:32-33.  Peter, using his new authority, took Jesus aside (καὶ προσλαβόμενος αὐτὸν).  He began to warn, rebuke, or admonish him (ὁ Πέτρος ἤρξατο ἐπιτιμᾶν αὐτῷ).  He said to Jesus that all those things in Jerusalem were never going to happen to him, the Lord (λέγων Ἵλεώς σοι, Κύριε· οὐ μὴ ἔσται σοι τοῦτο).  Then Jesus turned against Peter (ὁ δὲ στραφεὶς).  He told him to get behind him (εἶπεν τῷ Πέτρῳ Ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου) because Peter was acting like Satan (Σατανᾶ), since he was becoming a scandalous stumbling block (σκάνδαλον εἶ ἐμοῦ).  Peter was only thinking (ὅτι οὐ φρονεῖς) about human things (ἀλλὰ τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων), not divine things of God (τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Peter went from being a great leader to a tempting Satan trying to put obstacles in the way of a divine plan for Jesus.

The prince of Tyre pretends to be god (Ezek 28:1-28:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Say!

To the prince of Tyre!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Your heart

Is proud!

You have said.

‘I am a god!  

I sit

In the seat

Of the gods

In the heart

Of the seas.’

Yet you are

But a mortal!

You are no god!

Even though

You compare

Your mind

With the mind

Of a god.”

A usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was to tell the prince of Tyre what Yahweh had said. This Tyre prince had a proud heart. He thought that he was a god. He claimed to sit among the gods in the heart of the sea. However, he was just a mere mortal human. He was no god, even though he compared his own mind to that of a god. Was this King Ittobaal II (760-740 BCE), but that would precede the time frame of Ezekiel by over a 100 years.

The bad shepherds (Jer 23:1-23:2)

“‘Woe to the shepherds

Who destroy

The sheep of my pasture!

Woe to the shepherds

Who scatter

The sheep of my pasture!’

Says Yahweh.

Therefore thus says Yahweh!

The God of Israel!

Concerning the shepherds

Who shepherd my people.

‘It is you

Who have scattered my flock.

You have driven them away.

You have not attended to them.

So I will attend to you

For your evil doings.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, condemns the bad shepherds or the bad leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. Yahweh blames them for destroying and scattering the sheep of his pasture, his people, the Israelites. There is no question in the mind of Yahweh that that it was these leaders who scattered and drove away his flock. They had not attended to them. Instead, they went on their evil ways. Now Yahweh will attend to their evil actions. This oracle of Yahweh is clearly pointing the blame on the leaders.

The useless tongue (Sir 37:16-37:21)

“Discussion

Is at the beginning of every work.

Counsel precedes every undertaking.

The mind

Is the root of all conduct.

It sprouts four branches,

Good and evil,

Life and death.

The tongue continually rules them.

Some people may be

Clever enough to teach many.

Yet they may be

Useless to themselves.

A skilful speaker may be hated.

He will be destitute of all food.

The Lord has withheld

The gift of charm.

He is lacking in all wisdom.”

Sirach points out that some discussion precedes all actions. Thus counsel and advice precede any undertaking. The mind is the source of all conduct. There are 4 branches to the mind, good, evil, life, and death. This is hard to figure out. I am not sure how the mind controls life and death, except spiritually. Good and evil are easy to see. The tongue rules over all 4 branches. Once again, it is hard to see how the tongue controls life and death other than in a spiritual way. Some people are clever enough to teach others, but not worth much to themselves. You can be a skilled but hated speaker, so that you might end up with not much food. The Lord may have withheld charm from this speaker, since he is lacking in wisdom.

Good counselors (Sir 37:12-37:15)

“Associate with a godly person!

Associate with

Someone you know

To be a keeper

Of the commandments!

Associate with

Someone who is like minded

With yourself!

Associate with

Someone who will grieve

With you,

If you fail!

Heed the counsel

Of your own heart!

No one is more faithful

To you than it is.

Our own mind sometimes

Keeps us better informed

Than seven watchmen

Sitting high on a watchtower.

But above all,

Pray to the Most High!

Thus he may direct

Your way in truth.”

Sirach has some positive advice on who to associate with, mainly the godly person who keeps the commandments. In other words, seek counsel and give counsel with those who are like minded people. They will grieve with you if you fail. You should follow your heart, since no one is more faithful to you than your own heart. Your mind is better informed than any guards around the tower. However, the most important thing to do is pray to the Most High God so that he can direct your way truthfully. In the end, the best consultation is between you and God.

The test of human speech (Sir 27:4-27:7)

“When a sieve is shaken,

The refuse remains.

Thus a person’s faults appear

When he speaks.

The kiln tests

The potter’s vessels.

Thus the test of a person

Is in his conversation.

The fruit discloses

The cultivation of a tree.

Thus a person’s speech

Discloses the cultivation of his mind.

Do not praise anyone

Before he speaks.

This is the way people are tested.”

When cooking, people often use a sieve to only let the good grains go through. So when a sieve is shaken, the refuse remains. In the same way, when a person speaks, their faults appear. Just as a potter’s work is finished or tested in the furnace kiln, so too human conversation is a test. Just as the fruit of a tree reveals how well the tree was cultivated, so too a person’s speech reveals how his or her mind has been cultivated. Thus you should not praise anyone until they have spoken. Human conversation is how we test each other.