Jesus Rebukes Peter

Mark provides a series of parables in chronological order matched to the overall story of the Bible. Jesus rebuking Peter is the first, a parable about Adam.

The Story

This is the first parable in a grand pattern across this section in the Book of Mark. Being first, the pattern is not yet obvious. But, it is the first and the story being referenced is the fall of mankind from the Garden of Eden.

31Then he began to teach them that the son of man would have to suffer a great deal and be rejected by the elders and the high priests and the scribes, and be killed, and rise again on the 3rd day. 32And he spoke that word openly. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But he turned around and looked on his disciples, and he rebuked Simeon saying, Get behind me, accuser; for you are not thinking of the things of god, but of men. Mark 8:31-33


The litterary structure of Mark has now suddenly changed. No longer does the author keep referencing travel by ship across the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is now instructing them about himself.

This passage opens with a direct reference to the "Son of Man." This is a title Jesus has used for himself, but it is also a direct reference back to Adam. Adam is mankind when mankind is only one man. Jesus, the son of Adam, is the man Eve hoped for in order to redeem the race. Adam and Jesus map in various prophetic ways. Most notably the story of the history of Adam’s race, maps to Jesus life directly. Jesus is the word of God in the flesh. Jesus lives out the story of Adam’s race.

The opening verse in this section says that Jesus is now teaching about the ressurection of Jesus. By parable extension this is also going to point at the general resurrection of Adam’s race at the "last day." Each story in the following lesson sequences from Adam’s fall to Adam’s resurrection.

The Scene

The opening of this section in Mark’s epistle finds Jesus speaking openly about what will happen to Jesus. Peter cannot believe this is going to happen and rebukes Jesus. Jesus responds by rebuking Peter. The specific rebuke, though, is directed at Satan.

In the Garden of Eden, Eve was seduced by Satan and then in turn seduced Adam. Adam, listening to Eve instead of paying attention to the things of God, agreed with what Satan had in mind.

In this parable the three figures are seen again. Jesus plays the role of Adam, Peter of Eve and Satan plays himself.

In this replay of the original story is different from the original in one very important way. Instead of listening to Eve, Adam rebukes Satan: "You have in mind the things of men rather than the things of God."

Jesus is adding an editorial: This is how Adam should have responded. Jesus did not end relationship with Peter. Jesus simply dealt with his sin.

Taking up the Cross and Following Jesus

34And Joshua called the people together with his disciples, and said to them, He who wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, and the sake of my thinking, will save it. 36For how could a man be benefited if he should gain the whole world and lose his life, 37or what could a man give in exchange for his life? 38Therefore whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this sinful and adulterous generation, the son of man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his father with his holy kings. Mark 8:34-38

Jesus calls the people to himself and explains more about what had happened and what is needed to fix it. Whoever whats to follow Jesus must deny themselves, take up Jesus’ cross and follow him.

This is not what Adam did in the Garden, and it patterns all the trouble seen in the human race ever since.

In Adam’s case he gained the whole world, he was cast out of Eden into the world. In the process he lost his sole.

Kingdom with Power

1And he said to them, Truly I say to you, that there are men standing here who will not taste death, until they see that the kingdom of god has come with power. Mark 9:1

This final editorial on the story points back at Adam. There will be members of Adam’s race that will not see death before they see the kingdom come with power.

Phil Stone, Updated 2016-11-06