Thursday, July 16, 2009

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue. I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

Do you see anything wrong with Peter’s answer to Jesus’ question in Mk 8: But who do you say that I am?


And they came to Beth-sa'ida. And some people brought to him a blind man, and begged him to touch him.


And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, "Do you see anything?"


And he looked up and said, "I see men; but they look like trees, walking."


Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly.


And he sent him away to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village."


And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?"


And they told him, "John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others one of the prophets."


And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ."


And he charged them to tell no one about him.


And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.


And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.


But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your focus not on divine things, but human things."


And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any would come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.


For those who want to save their life will lose it; and those who lose life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.


For what does it profit them to gain the whole world and lose their life?


For what can anyone give in return for their life?


For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."


Joshua said...

It's the right answer, but lack any kind of understanding as to the implications of it. It's empty and hollow.

Greg said...

Thanks. I agree. What would the implications have been?

Micha said...

8,32 shows that he doesnt implicate suffering but political power, I guess. Unfortunately this doesnt seem to be Gods plan to restore the earth

Micha said...

I meant 31 to 33

Greg said...

Thanks. Well, elders, chief priests, and scribes does at least imply the religious elite of the day.

I found the narrator mentioning 'not to tell anyone' right after the response of Peter and then reference to 'the Son of man' to be an intriguing way for Jesus to bring a desired ambiguity into the dialogue, which he later goes on to clarify.

I wonder why Peter would rebuke Jesus? After all, in 31 he said he will rise again.

Joshua said...

The Messiah resurrected one.

I don't really understand the signficance Mark attaches to the secrecy of Jesus' identity; however, it's tied it seems to afterwards him calling the multitude and proclaiming the paradox of following Jesus verses seeking life. That we are to proudly not focus on these things, but go to the cross (which I'm guessing Jesus believed was intended as a metaphor with a delayed revelation) where God, who along can save will bring to life.

As Peter would I'm guessing probably already of believed in the general resurrection, I'm not sure how he viewed the Messiah's relationship to it, or the significance of any error he would have, except that he had a false hope in the Messiah's mission.

Joshua said...

There is also the irony of Peter rebuking his "Lord", which alludes to an impoverished reality to the Messiah's sovereignty.

Greg said...

It seems that Jesus, as least in the narrator's eyes, doesn't want Peter's notion, as spokesman for the disciples, of messiah to go too far and therefore perhaps further ignite false messiah expectations. Son of man would have had greater ambiguity and given Jesus room to move and shape a new understanding of messiah.

As to resurrection check out 9:10.

reneamac said...

Would it be fair to say Peter's proclimation/hope/vision was more "not full" than "empty"?

Greg said...

Thanks. Well, maybe too full in a certain sense. That is, it seems Peter was messiah making and this is why Jesus sends him back - get behind me - to the disciples as a follower and not one equal to the task of deciding who the messiah was.

Micha said...

So Greg, do I grasp what you said: Did you say that Jesus introduced (or switched to) Son of Man because of the wrong notions of the word Messiah?
If so, do we now need to introduce new terms for the messiah/son of man, because meanwhile those words have wrong notions, too?
I am asking because I am still struggeling with the problem of old scriptural language which was so related to those who lived 2000 years ago, but nowadays is so distinct to our language and context.

Greg said...

What I was getting at is that the narrator - the story teller - announces that Jesus switched to the S of man in order to show that he was wanting to bring new perceptions of messiah into the picture.

We now have more information as to what Jesus meant by both terms so we're in a different place that the disciples. But you make a valid point about outmoded language today. I would think that we want to try to re-invest these tems with contemporary meaning without losing the force they have had for centuries.