"Get behind me”


Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 131 Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”                                                                                                                                                                        I wonder what people look like when they reach the pearly gates? Are they well dressed with their clothes neat and tidy and clean? Is their hair well coifed,skin tanned and free of blemishes? Are they well rested?What is the image of the folks standing at those gates, and what is the image of those passing through those same gates? It seems that their image might be the exact opposite of those just described. Their clothes might very well be thread bare, torn, and dirty from a strenuous journey. Hair greyed , unkempt , and possibly even plucked out from that same journey, Their skin might have scrapes and bruises from battling the enemy that wished to keep them from their intended destination. The road is long and full of obstacles that can make its travel treacherous.The folks standing before those gates well rested in their finery might have made it to the end of the road, but chances are they don’t pass through those gates: to reach that destination in that condition would be a sure sign they took more than a few short cuts, in other words, they cheated! Jesus knew this as did the prophets of Israel’s history.From Isaiah: “I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.”
Peter rebuked Jesus when Jesus told him about the suffering he was to endure. Rebuke:to express sharp, stern disapproval of; reprove; reprimand. When Jesus asked him who Peter thought he was :
“Peter said to him in reply,”
“You are the Christ.” Christ means Messiah, which means an anointed one: If Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed one; who was Peter to scold him? Peter was a disciple, a follower of Christ,a student, yet in rebuking Christ he placed himself before Christ; that human fault which has been mans downfall from the beginning. Rebellious Pride. In his rebuking Christ was Peter following Christ, or was Christ to follow Peter? Was Peter their to help Christ navigate the obstacles placed before him, the chief priests and scribes, or is that what Christ was to guide Peter through? Christ recognized the obstacle’s placed before him and knew navigating past them would be difficult; Peter was young in his faith and did not know what he was about to endure. Christ rebuked Peter and said “get behind me Satin. ” Another way of phrasing that is get behind me as a Disciple, and not in front of me as another obstacle.Isn’t that the proper way to walk with a Messiah, an anointed one, a savior? Isn’t that the proper relationship between man and GOD? Isn’t it proper to “follow them” to “get behind them’” so that its Jesus the Christ’s guidance and his protection that guides us safely on our journey ? “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.”
Peter needed a lesson to curb his pride, deny himself, and trust his faith in Christ.His enthusiasm was great, but it maybe clouded his judgment;perhaps the syndrome of “a little knowledge is dangerous?”  Christ’s “Follow me” is an important lesson, especially on such a perilous journey.

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