Jeremiah 2:4-13; Psalm 81:1, 10-16; (Sirach 10:12-18 or Proverbs 25:6-7; Psalm 112;) Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16; Luke 14:1, 7-14
Song of Solomon 2:8-13; Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9; (Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9; Psalm 15;) James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c; (Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8;) Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28
Have you ever been in a conversation in which it seemed that you and another person were not talking about the same thing even though you were arguing about it strenuously? Something like that is going on in Mark. Jesus and the Pharisees are in conflict with one another but not necessarily about the same things and certainly not on the same terms.
Peter often reminds us of our humanity: that’s his gift to us. Perhaps it was also a gift to Jesus. Jesus must have been tempted by what Peter said to him. Jesus certainly would have preferred not to have to talk about suffering and death. We honor the humanity of Jesus to say that he was tempted by Peter’s words. Perhaps Peter is naming something like fear within Jesus and bringing it to light. It scares Jesus, and he responds forcefully. “Get behind me, Satan!”
I got into trouble once. Big trouble. I was enjoying myself at a barbecue supper with several clergy in a small northern Kentucky town. When we ran out of some food items, I volunteered to drive my MG—with the top down, of course—to find a grocery store. I was on my way back to the barbecue when a local officer nailed me for speeding.
I grew up in an era before video, Veggie Tales or Bible-based computer games. I was raised, at least in terms of religious education, on the flannelgraph. To this day, although I know that the scriptures are peopled with characters of texture and nuance, I think of Bible people and see pastel paper figures pressed on a felt board.