Mark 8: 27 to 35
Ordinary 24 Year B
27 6 Now Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of
28 They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still
29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”
30 Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
31 He began to teach them that the Son of Man 7 must suffer
32 He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and
33 At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
34 He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said 8
35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but
6 [27-30] This episode is the turning point in Mark’s account of Jesus in his public ministry. Popular opinions concur in regarding him as a prophet. The disciples by contrast believe him to be the Messiah. Jesus acknowledges this identification but prohibits them from making his messianic office known to avoid confusing it with ambiguous contemporary ideas on the nature of that office. See further the notes on ⇒ Matthew 16:13-20.
7  Son of Man: an enigmatic title. It is used in ⇒ Daniel 7:13-14 has a symbol of “the saints of the Most High,” the faithful Israelites who receive the everlasting kingdom from the Ancient One (God). They are represented by a human figure that contrasts with the various beasts who represent the previous kingdoms of the earth. In the Jewish apocryphal books of 1 Enoch and 4 Ezra the “Son of Man” is not, as in Daniel, a group, but a unique figure of extraordinary spiritual endowments, who will be revealed as the one through whom the everlasting kingdom decreed by God will be established. It is possible though doubtful that this individualization of the Son of Man figure had been made in Jesus’ time, and therefore his use of the title in that sense is questionable. Of itself, this expression means simply a human being, or, indefinitely, someone, and there are evidences of this use in pre-Christian times. Its use in the New Testament is probably due to Jesus’ speaking of himself in that way, “a human being,” and the later church’s taking this in the sense of the Jewish apocrypha and applying it to him with that meaning. Rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes: the supreme council called the Sanhedrin was made up of seventy-one members of these three groups and presided over by the high priest. It exercised authority over the Jews in religious matters. See the note on ⇒ Matthew 8:20.
8 [34-35] This utterance of Jesus challenges all believers to authentic discipleship and total commitment to himself through self-renunciation and acceptance of the cross of suffering, even to the sacrifice of life itself. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it . . . will save it: an expression of the ambivalence of life and its contrasting destiny. Life seen as mere self-centered earthly existence and lived in denial of Christ ends in destruction, but when lived in loyalty to Christ, despite earthly death, it arrives at fullness of life.
9  For my sake and that of the gospel: Mark here, as at ⇒ Mark 10:29 equates Jesus with the gospel.
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised