8:32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

I love that statement: “He said all this quite openly”. Jesus does not play let’s pretend games. He lays everything on the table. He is determined to live clearly. He will hide nothing from his followers no matter how difficult and painful the truth may be.

I wonder what gives me the courage to live with this same willingness to see clearly and honestly the reality of my circumstances.

This is certainly not where Peter wanted to live. When Peter doesn’t like reality, he goes on the attack. He seeks to shut down the voice of uncomfortable truth, to side-line the light he can’t bear in favour of the lie that seems more tolerable.

It appears in these two verses that even Jesus may have been tempted by this strategy. Jesus responds to Peter saying, “Get behind me Satan!” Peter’s words evidently posed a genuine temptation for Jesus. Like me, Jesus would have preferred the comforting lie to the difficult truth. But he also understands that denial is the “human” way, not the “divine” way.

Peter’s way is the way of self-protection, the way of defensiveness and illusion. Jesus is determined to launch out into the light and live boldly in the land of truth.


How does it feel when I look away from what I know to be true? What am I trying to protect by refusing to see?