Get thee behind me Satan?


#1

This was posted by Gottle of Geer on another thread and it has me wondering.

Don’t forget this incident:

Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Mar 8:33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
Church apologetic - of any Church, probably - is not always very good at mentioning those passages that don’t evidently support a given position: they seem to be glossed over.

Yet they are in the text, and they play a part in the passages in which they occur, no less so than other more obviusly valuable texts. ##

What should one say about this? Thanks and God bless.


#2

What’s the problem?


#3

[quote=Ahimsa]What’s the problem?
[/quote]

Jesus calling Peter Satan. I though it sounded a bit odd to call the leader of your church that. It has thrown a wrench in my mental schama of how thing work.


#4

[quote=Montie Claunch]Jesus calling Peter Satan. I though it sounded a bit odd to call the leader of your church that. It has thrown a wrench in my mental schama of how thing work.
[/quote]

I thought Jesus was the leader. :slight_smile:


#5

There’s not much to say. This a common attack on the primacy of Peter. The approach usually goes something like this: If Jesus intended for Peter to have primacy, why does he call Peter Satan right after the verse where Jesus supposedly puts him in charge?

Jesus calls him that because Peter is trying to mess up God’s plan, (even though he had good intentions) If Jesus thought so lowly of Peter, then why he would say “blessed are you” just a few verses before?
And why would the Father inspire Peter to say what he said if Peter really was a “satan”? The word Satan simply means “The enemy”.

It would be akin to saying, “Peter, I build my church on you. Oops! I take it back!”

Martin


#6

Maybe this is just the lateness of the hour, and the excedrin I took for an earlier migraine. . .

But to me it’s as if Jesus is saying, “get behind me” in the sense of “come on, get with the program, back me up here”!

And yes, while we today tend to use Lucifer and Satan interchangeably, Jesus was not identifying Peter with “Lucifer” but with a “satan”, an antagonist. And while Peter indeed had “good intentions” in the HUMAN viewpoint, they were not going with Jesus/ God’s will. Peter, the man Jesus picked as His successor, could have and SHOULD have known better, and this is indicated by the fact that the Father had revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Christ. Peter, instead of questioning Christ’s decisions, should have been behind Him 100%. But Peter was human, and doubted, and even denied. Are we any better? Have we, baptised into Catholicism or other Christian faiths as infants, taught the tradition, written and oral, not of a few days but of some 2000 years, done any better than Peter in following Jesus?


#7

[quote=Tantum ergo]And yes, while we today tend to use Lucifer and Satan interchangeably, Jesus was not identifying Peter with “Lucifer” but with a “satan”, an antagonist.
[/quote]

Could you give me a refrence for this so if I don’t get a “Your an idiot” look? Please and thanks you.


#8

If we look at the context, we see that after Matt 16:18 Jesus foretells His passion. and because Peter did not want Jesus to die, Peter said,“God forbid Lord! this should never happen to you.” probably this shows that the popes are also human, yet they have authority God gave them. read Matthew 16:21-23.


#9

Maybe Jesus was speaking figuratively to emphasize a point. It’s pretty clear from the rest of Scripture that Peter was not, in fact, Satan. Either Jesus was lying, or He was using strong language to point out that Peter’s words and sentiment were opposed to God and therefore aligned with Satan.

The use of this incidence to attack the papacy is a little perplexing to me. Does this one rebuke somehow negate Jesus giving Peter the keys, promising to build His church on Peter, or asking Peter to feed His sheep? What effects, exactly, does this rebuke cause? Does it discredit Peter entirely? If it did, then Protestants would be in trouble, too, as Peter’s testimony and role in the early church is clearly important for all Christians. Does it discredit him just enough to make him obviously not pope, but not enough to call his testimony into question? Why is it to be assumed that Jesus would not strongly rebuke the man he’d chosen to lead His Church? Why would Jesus not use strong language to do so?

I suggest that Jesus used this strong language precisely because He had chosen Peter to lead His Church. Look at the offense in question. Peter displayed horror at the idea of his beloved Christ’s suffering. Would Jesus have rebuked one of the other disciples so strongly for this? He wanted Peter, especially, to understand why He had to suffer.

Peter’s human weakness and need for correction is not an argument against the papacy. God chose a human leader to lead His human Church and gave him the grace to do so. It is the same with our pope today.


#10

You took the words out of my mouth. :thumbsup:


#11

I always understood it to show what Jesus intended by his choosing the first pope. He did not choose the best apostle on purpose - He chose the apostle that would be tempted and do wrongly and even publically deny Christ to show us that it is not the Pope in charge but in fact the Holy Spirit.

St. John Chrysostom said that “the roads of hell are paved with the skulls of bishops.” It doesn’t matter if our leaders sometimes err or even if they are rotten - the Holy Spirit is in charge.


#12

Jesus was correcting Peter. It gives me some real hope to see the first Pope was a regular old sinner like you and I. The good news of the gospel is that we are all broken people and we can all be forgiven. Non of us are Christian elite, every one of us deserves hell and recieves grace.

-D


#13

The word “satan” just means “adversary” in Semitic languages; it can also simply mean one who puts stumbling blocks in the way of righteousness. Jesus was calling Peter out for opposing the plans of God, or playing the adversary to the Divine Plan. Peter wasn’t necessarily associated in any way, shape, or form with the Devil in this passage.

We call the Enemy “Satan” because his whole purpose is to oppose God, but in Semitic languages anyone could be called a satan, though it generally has a negative connotation. It could even be used for the role of a prosecuting attorney, which is what the Jews view Satan as today, as opposed to an immortal being that opposes God.

Reference:

blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/words/7/1134198359-5409.html

Peace and God bless!


#14

From the book “The Bodnage Breaker” by Neil T. Anderson:

The fact that Jesus identified Satan as the source of Peter’s words describes precisely and appropriately the character of the advice peter tried to give: “Save yourself at all costs. Sacrificy duty to self-interest, the cause of Christ to personal convenience”. Peter’s advice was satanic in principle, for Satan’s primary aim is to promote self interest as the chief end of man. Satan is called the price of this world because self interest rules the secular world.


I don’t think Jesus was calling Peter Satan… it’s as if Satan was whispering these things to peter and he was addressing Satan next to Peter…

Just my thoughts…


#15

The NAB is a bit more explicit when it translates the phrase as
"you satan!" instead of “Satan”.


#16

[quote=Montie Claunch]This was posted by Gottle of Geer on another thread and it has me wondering.

What should one say about this? Thanks and God bless.
[/quote]

I think it is worth noting that the scripture passage about calling Peter a satan comes immediately after Jesus has just told Peter he will be given the keys to the kingdom. Maybe Jesus is pointing out (among other things) that having the keys will not make you error free.

I believe it is worth comparing these scriptures to Matthew Chapter 23 where Jesus tells his disciples they should observe what the Pharisees and scribes say should be observed but then delivers a very harsh criticism of those same Pharisees and scribes.

I think the point is that we do need an established human authority, that the authority is not perfect, and that it should be accorded due respect in any case.

I think there is much to debate about what constitutes “due respect” - thus some remain with the Church (the human institution that maintains Apostolic succession) while others do not. I remain convinced that it is better to remain with the Church.

peace

-Jim


#17

Commentary on this passage in the Navarre Bible indicates that Jesus rebukes Peter because he is thinking like man (No harm should come to you, Master) and not like God ( I came to serve and not be served - and to die and rise again).
It shows Peter’s natural reaction to the prophesy of the Lord and in no way diminishes his position in the Church, any more than his not wanting the Master to wash his feet at the Last Supper.
Peter understands things like we do, until Pentacost, when he is given understanding by the Holy Spirit.


#18

Hi Montie, in Judaism “satan” simply means adversary. Peter was likely expecting the Messiah to led Isreal into battle to gain freedom from rome – thus Peter was speaking in the flesh at that point. And, his comments showed that he did not yet understand the plan of God for Jesus.

So, Jesus was telling peter to “get back, adversary”


#19

Also, if you see much potential in a person, you are often harder on them than others, sort of like you’re grooming them. Jesus may have said some of his harshest things to Peter, but he also entrusted Peter to strengthen the others when they all fell away, not to mention to lead his church here.
Tamara


#20

[quote=Imprimartin]There’s not much to say. This a common attack on the primacy of Peter. The approach usually goes something like this: If Jesus intended for Peter to have primacy, why does he call Peter Satan right after the verse where Jesus supposedly puts him in charge?

Jesus calls him that because Peter is trying to mess up God’s plan, (even though he had good intentions) If Jesus thought so lowly of Peter, then why he would say “blessed are you” just a few verses before?
And why would the Father inspire Peter to say what he said if Peter really was a “satan”? The word Satan simply means “The enemy”.

It would be akin to saying, “Peter, I build my church on you. Oops! I take it back!”

Martin
[/quote]

I mentioned it in another thread, on Peter, only because a Catholic quoted a vast list of NT places mentioning him, and did not include that.

ISTM that we have to mention all the places relevant to a case we are trying to make - even if they are unfavourable: to leave inconvenient verses out, looks shifty :(.

As to the passage, I think it shows that Jesus can be opposed (with the best of intentions) even by those who are most privileged (as Peter had been, in receiving from the Father of Jesus a revelation as to Who Jesus was). Peter is “blessed” for what he received, which is based on nothing in him - yet he is also “satan”, insofaras he opposes the One Whom He has recognised. He is both - this paradox & tension is essential to the meaning of the Gospel. That is why it is so full of paradoxes.

There is something especially mean in trying to weaken a man’s resolve to do what is difficult for him, by using his own closest friends to say the words that might weaken it; I think this is also a reason for the extreme severity of Jesus’ reply: he has to be severe, in order to keep to His purpose - to go to be crucified at Jerusalem as the King of the Jews - in order to preserve His own determination to do it. (see also the parallels - at Mark 8.33 & Luke 9.51)

The passage is also a reminder that an end comes to times of great spiritual comfort; sometimes sharply - the comfort is to stengthen, not to enfeeble us.

Such opposition is the work of satan, working through frail, changeable, unsteady, God-forgetting man (& the Gospel shows how frail & unsteady Peter was capable of being, when he acted in his own strength & wisdom); so Jesus rebukes it as such. He is not opposing Peter so much as satan who used what Peter was when left to himself.

The temptation of Jesus by the mouth of Peter is a renewal of the temptation in the wilderness, where Jesus is tempted to be a Messiah without a Cross - for Jesus, that would be a distortion of His understanding of what it is to be Messiah, so He rejects it absolutely, as diabolical.

Situations in the Gospels point beyond themselves, to us. They demand a reaction from us - would the reader or hearer act more wisely than Peter ? What is our reaction to such & such a word of Jesus ? Are we as scandalised as the Scribes (or whoever) ?

I think it is a very important passage :slight_smile: ##


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