St. Edmund's Church, Crickhowell

Encounters with Jesus -

Simon Peter



Just before this encounter, Mark records Jesus' healing of the blind man at Bethsaida (8:22-26). This particular healing does not happen instantly. The man's journey from blindness to sight echoes the gradual opening of the eyes of the disciples to who their companion, Jesus, really is.


In this story, Peter grasps a deep truth about Jesus. Yet he fails to develop it, and thus only half understands it - landing in deep trouble as a result. Have you ever got into trouble through misunderstanding, or only partly grasping, a particular event or situation ?


Read Mark 8:27 - 9: 1.


Christ, or Messiah, is a title rather than a surname. It means 'the anointed one'. In O.T. times this was applied particularly to the kings (such as Saul and David), who were seen as chosen by God for their task - and thus were 'anointed'. These anointed kings, and later the promised Christ Messiah, had huge expectations placed on them by the people.

  1. Are our expectations of others - especially those in positions of responsibility - too high ?
  2. Jesus' understanding of His task as Christ / Messiah was very different from what people were expecting. Is how we see our task of being a Christian different from what others expect ?

Son of Man

Jesus' response to Peter's confession of Him as The Christ was to name Himself the 'Son of Man'. In using this title, Jesus was saying two things -

  1. He was a man, a mere human being, for that is what the aramaic phrase literally meant.
  2. He was someone from heaven, a figure who was to have universal and eternal dominion over the world (read Daniel 7:13-14).

Then Jesus went further still, by implicitly linking another O.T. passage / figure to the one from Daniel - the 'suffering servant' (read Isaiah 53).

  1. Peter could not cope with having his view of the coming Messiah / Christ turned on its head like this. How well do we cope when God, whether through circumstances or other means, blows our hopes and/or expectations out of the water ?
  2. Jesus rebuked Peter in an intense, even ferocious, manner. Have we ever experienced God's rebuke or chastisement at all (please keep in mind Rev. 3:19) ? How do we cope when others rebuke us ?


The 'Gospel' is referred to by Jesus in this story (v.36). As Stuart Blanch observed,

"Mark is not just telling a story. He is proclaiming a gospel The gospel as it emerges from this incident is that Jesus was the Messiah for whom the Jewish people had been waiting, that he was opposed by his own people, largely misunderstood by his own disciples, and was ultimately crucified. But he was the Messiah, and his status in God's plan for the world is  vindicated by his resurrection from the dead."

  1. How well do we understand the 'gospel' we claim to believe in ? How would we describe this 'gospel' in two or three sentences ?
  2. It has often been said, "As for the Master, so for his servants". Have we ever faced persecution of any kind ? How concerned are we for our fellow Christians who are being persecuted, or even martyred, in our world today ?


Thank God for the gospel of our salvation. Ponder some of the many titles given to Jesus in the Bible, and praise Him for Who He really is ! (see e.g. Isaiah 9:6; Luke 2:11; John 1 :29).


4/10  BL    Last updated 19/10/2004