Summary: Why did God find favor with Abraham? What did Peter say to cause such a strong rebuke from Jesus?
Mark 8:31–38 (ESV)
I would like to ask a question for your personal meditation. How do you become aware of God’s active presence being with you?
Reading the Book of Genesis, we are introduced to Avram. A person God would later re-named Avraham. This person was being drawn into knowledge of God. I believe the number one question asked over the years has been simply “why”?
We know him in English as Abraham; God found favor with this man. Avraham is the founder of our ethical belief in one God. He is regarded as the father of the faiths known as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Why did God select him?
When we ask why this man found favor with God we must look at how he lived his life after he experienced God’s covenant. Consider When God judged destruction upon Sodom because of its evil and wicked people. Avraham argued with God, to save the lives of the righteous that lived there. However, remember Avraham did not argue with God for the life of his only son when God requested the sacrifice of Isaac. Here is why Avraham’s found favor with God. His faith in God was so strong he believed God would be merciful.
Paul addressed the promise God made Avraham because of his faith.
Romans 4:13–25 (ESV) 13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Abraham supported the interest of God instead of the ways of man. Our Lord Jesus Christ; had to serve as a Son of Man while being the Son of God. It was God’s intent for the Messiah to be a man of sorrows and suffering instead of being a comfortable living Messiah. Jesus spoke about his being the fulfillment of God’s prophecies; and how he would be a suffering servant.
Mark 8:31–38 (ESV)
31 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. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
Consider the full force of the question. How did you become aware of God’s unseen hand revealing God’s active presence being with you? Are you setting your mind on the things of God or on the things of man?
This is what Peter did to deserve such a rebuke from Jesus. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
The Jewish community knew the teachings about the Messiah to come. However, their understanding came from the teachings of their religious leaders. Their religious leaders had a flaw in their ideas about what the Messiah would do for Israel. They promoted the thought of a warring Messiah whom would kick the invading army of Rome out of the Promised Land.