[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!”
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 ##