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Mark 8: 27 to 35

Ordinary 24           Year B

NEW AMERICAN BIBLE

27      6 Now Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of
         Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples,
         “Who do people say that I am?”

28     They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still
         others one of the prophets.”

29     And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”
         Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah.”

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
         greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests,
         and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days.

32     He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and
         began to rebuke him.

33      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.”

34     He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said 8
         to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny
         himself, take up his cross, and follow me.

35     For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but
         whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel 9
         will save it.

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 [31] 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 [35] 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
edition (c) 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,
Washington D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner.
All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced
in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

 

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