Updated: Aug 7, 2021
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Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But 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.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, 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 their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
This is the Gospel selection to be read aloud by a priest on the sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 19], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. This will be preceded by one of two sets of Old Testament readings, paired with a Psalm or other choice. If the church is on the path of Track 1 during Year B, the reading will focus on Proverbs 7, where Solomon wrote, “For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools destroys them.” If Track 2 is the path, the reading will focus on Isaiah, where he wrote, “Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.” Those will accompany the Epistle reading from James, where the Apostle wrote, “For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue-- a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
I wrote about much of this reading last February, when Mark 8:31-38 was a Lenten Gospel reading. That can be read by clicking on this link. In regard to those verses set aside for the second Sunday in Lent, I posted this in 2017. Still, in 2018, the last time this full reading came up in the lectionary cycle, I wrote this here. With so much written prior on this reading, I will only address a few elements of this reading now. Please, feel free to read all and compare them to one another, to see the depth that surfaces. I welcome all comments, suggestions, and corrections [I am notorious overlooking typos].
Today I want to focus on the verses that are not part of the Lenten reading, which are twenty-seven through thirty. In particular, I want to make sure verse thirty is grasped, which says [NRSV], “And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.” In 2018, I made a point of giving my opinion about what that order means; but I did not dwell on it, nor did I relate that to anything else. Now, I want to expand on why Jesus gave that order.
First of all, last Sunday’s Gospel reading came from Mark 7, the chapter before today’s reading selection. Then we read about Jesus healing a deaf man with difficulty speaking; and, I pointed out that Jesus also healed the family of that man from the stigma of them having been seen as less that normal, because they still loved and cared for their relative who was deemed by Judaism as a sinner. All were healed by the deaf man becoming free of physical maladies. In Mark 7:36 we read, “Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.” That order must be part of understanding this order in Mark 8:30.
In Matthew’s eighth chapter, he told of Jesus healing a man with leprosy. In Matthew 8:4 [NRSV] we read, “Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” This event is retold by Mark, found in Mark 1:14.
In Matthew’s ninth chapter, we read about two blind men that ask Jesus to heal them, He does; and then we read, “Then Jesus sternly ordered them, “See that no one knows of this.” But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.” (Matthew 9:30-31)
In Mark’s fifth chapter, after Jarius came to Jesus about his sick daughter, Jesus went to Jarius’ home and raised the girl from death. In verse forty-three we read, “ He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.” This story is retold In Luke’s eighth chapter (Luke 8:56).
In today’s reading, Matthew 16:20 retells what is written in Mark 8:30. Matthew recalled this: “Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.” Luke also wrote of this event, writing, “He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone.” (Luke 9:21)
In Matthew 17:9 and Mark 9:9, after the event known as the Transfiguration, as Jesus was descending from the high mountain, he ordered, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” [NRSV]
All of this needs to be seen in the light of the reading from James, where he wrote of “teachers” and the power of the “tongue” to be one’s direction in life. It has to do with Solomon waxing philosophically about wisdom (a goddess), while belittling those who do not seek knowledge as their god; and, this reading fits the theme of Isaiah, who sang about those having been given the “tongue of a teacher” by Yahweh. Jesus gave orders not to promote a human being as another idol of worship, because Jesus is not to be that. Yahweh did not send His Son to become such an icon. Thus, Jesus did not casually brush off all the praise that was directed towards him, saying, "Aw shucks, you're embarrassing me." Instead, he sternly ordered such an external “Savior” is not why the Father sent the Son in human form.
In the vast number of healing that Jesus is associated with performing, he did little more than tell one seeing good health, “Go, your faith has healed you.” While there were times when Jesus made physical contact with someone and he or she was healed, the truth of all healings was not because Jesus, the man, was walking around the earth as some special freak show. The truth of all healings was Yahweh. Because Yahweh merged His Spirit with the soul of a seeker, who came to Jesus as a culmination of one’s faith, the presence of Jesus must be seen as symbolic of a transfer of his soul-spirit into each of the seekers, so the seekers all went away as the wives of Yahweh, spiritually possessed by the soul of Jesus. All became an extension of Yahweh, as His Son reborn, all Anointed by Yahweh to be in the name of Jesus – a name that means “Yah[weh] Saves.”
The importance of understanding this transfer of soul, before Jesus physically died and his soul was fully released to be used by the Father in the rapid creation of the movement now called “Christianity,” is why Jesus followed up his questions to his disciples about the scuttlebutt around the towns, as to who the people said Jesus was. When Yahweh’s Spirit entered Peter and caused his flesh to blurt out, “You are the Christ” [“Sy ei ho Christos.”], the truth of that says Jesus’ soul was the one Anointed by Yahweh. That is why Jesus then told (three times) about his coming death, resurrection and ascension. To truly be the “Christos,” Jesus had to release his Anointed soul so all seekers could become souls married to Yahweh’s Spirit and then be divinely possessed by His Son’s soul. Jesus did not want people thinking Jesus of Nazareth was the only one who could ever be the “Christos.” Jesus thought what Yahweh led him to think.
When Peter, James and John (of Zebedee) were with Jesus on the high mountain and saw the soul-spirit of Jesus appearing not only as his present incarnation, but also as his prior incarnations as Moses and Elijah, he ordered the three not to tell about what they did not understand. Before Jesus was “raised from the dead,” meaning before those three witnesses were reborn as Jesus, having had his soul become one with theirs, anything they could have said would sound like they “saw ghosts,” which was a sign of a crazy person, not a sane one. Once they were divinely in spiritual possession, led by the soul of Jesus, they would know that exact same soul was Yahweh’s extension into the earth plane, which results in most righteous incarnations. Then, Peter, James and John would know the truth of what they had seen; but then, that realization would be more reason why not to tell anyone.
When James, the brother of Jesus and the Apostle who wrote the Epistle connected to this Gospel reading, wrote, “we who teach will be judged with greater strictness,” that means the “greater strictness” of the Spirit of Yahweh, which brings about the soul of Jesus. So, that presence means teaching souls to marry Yahweh and be reborn as His Son, without spewing nonsense. Nonsense is running around telling people what some man has the powers to do, because the “greater strictness” is to go out in ministry, so seekers can find you. Then, do not tell anyone what Jesus did for you, because you do for others as Jesus reborn.
This is why Peter became the vehicle of Yahweh again, when he took Jesus aside and “rebuked” him for talking about his pending death. Peter was the leader of a group of ‘round table’ disciples, each of which had been given the soul-spirit of Jesus [while he was alive and well], so they could be examples of human beings walking around as Jesus reborn [before he was dead and his soul fully released]. Jesus had sent his soul-spirit into his apostles, who were commissioned to go out like Jesus, without looking like Jesus [Jesus reborn interns]. When they returned from their mini-ministries, they then acted the same in the miracle feeding of five thousand Jewish pilgrims [plus wives and children]. Therefore, Peter knew what the others were thinking.
Peter was the spokesman then, speaking for those who today call themselves “Christians” too, simply because they believe a man was born and walked the earth with magical powers, named Jesus [of Nazareth]. When Peter "rebuked" Jesus, he was saying, "Let me tell you what is going to happen! We will protect you, because the world cannot be without Jesus! Jesus cannot die and be reborn in anyone else!" Jesus called out that mindset, saying, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
In the classic command, the Greek written by Mark is this: “Hypage opisō mou , Satana”. In that, “Hypage” is a capitalized word, meaning it takes on a divine level of meaning, beyond the ordinary meaning of “get.” The root Greek form is “hupagó,” which means, “to lead or bring under, to lead on slowly, to depart.” (Strong’s Definition) The use of that word implies “I go away, depart, begone, die,” such that “get” should be seen (ordinarily) as a command to an animal, as “Get along little doggie.” Still, HELPS Word-studies adds, “hypágō (from 5259 /hypó, "under" and 71 /ágō, "lead away") – properly, to lead away under someone's authority (mission, objective). 5217 /hypágō (literally, "going under") indicates a change of relation which is only defined by the context.” Seeing that the context is Peter telling the Son of man what to do, rather than listen to Yahweh speaking through the Son of man, “Hypage” becomes Yahweh telling Peter’s soul, “Die of self, mortal!” If you want to use "Get," it means "Git rid of the self-ego, mortal!"
When that can be seen, the Greek word “opisō” needs to be grasped, as it means “after, backward, behind.” When the capitalization of “Hypage” is understood to be Yahweh speaking to “Die of self,” then for that self is then told to move “backwards,” meaning the submission of self-will and self-ego unto God, who must then be seen as “me” (mou) - Jesus. In that, “mou” is the possessive (genitive) form of the Greek word for “I,” which is “ἐγώ (egṓ).” This means “me” says, “of I,” which means taking on the name of Yahweh in human form, which is “Jesus” [“Yah[weh] Saves]. Thus, this command by Yahweh, through the mouth of the Son, says “Die of self and let my Son be your possessor.” The command was then spoken to “Satan,” who was the spirit that possessed Peter and made him speak for the group as if Jesus must not ever speak of dying. [Notice the paradox of Peter in one moment being possessed by Yahweh to give Jesus the truth in answer to his question, while the next moment his soul was controlled by Satan, and made to rebuke the Son of man.]
After having a direct confrontation of Peter, which was witnessed by all the followers of Jesus, who like Peter did not want to think about life without their “Savior” in human form, it becomes important to realize the truth of Jesus telling them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Now, I have written much about this meaning. It speaks clearly of then, when Jesus was still alive and well on earth, but it speaks equally loud and clear about all the people who have paraded through life under the umbrella of “Christianity.” A “follower” is both someone who has a tongue that spews forth brackish water – like Solomon preaching all the wonders of ‘Lady Wisdom’ – while a “follower” is also everyone since who has been a soul possessed by the soul of Jesus, after divine marriage to Yahweh, so the lineage of a true Christ, in the name of Jesus, has followed his death, resurrection and ascension ever since [the true meaning of "Christianity"].
The point I want to make clear now is that aspect of “Satan.” It is Satan that does not want souls to step backwards in submission to Yahweh. It is Satan that does not want souls to be reborn as Yahweh’s Son, becoming “of me” through the Spirit that transforms brackish water into fresh water. It is Satan who promotes wisdom as the power of self, in the mastery of life, so others will happily follow in one’s own footsteps, never once thinking he or she should be a new Jesus walking the face of the earth, helping others do the same. That makes the form of Christianity that exists today be a church headed by Satan, because those churches cannot “Die of self-will and get behind Yahweh,” because that would cause their extinction [as they are now]. There are no churches led by Jesus reborn. All the true Saints venerated by the Roman Catholic Church were not advocates of a religious organization that refused to let Jesus die, so he could be reborn as Saints. Because there are no more Saints leading churches, Satan has worked his evil way into their heads; and, none are making followers in the name of Jesus Christ. They only promote the one "Christ," who they keep nailed to a cross on the walls of their church buildings [although they think they can call him down to bless wafers and wine, before sending him back into his box].
When Mark wrote of Jesus saying, “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?” this refers one back to the capitalized “Hypage,” where the divine meaning says, “Die of self, mortal.” The command from Yahweh is self-sacrifice, so one can be reborn in the name of Jesus, the Son again in man [flesh of either gender]. If one does not want to give up the worship of self, then the foregone conclusion that every self is going to lose its body of flesh (eventually, at death), then the thing worshipped will “Get.” However, for those souls who do submit to marriage to Yahweh and become His Son reborn [again, regardless of human gender], then “for the sake of me and the news that tells others to do the same (the Gospel)” will be eternally saved.
This is the repeated message of the New Testament. The corruption of true Christianity – where all members of that true Church are all Anointed ones of Yahweh, as His Son resurrected within bodies of flesh – means the idolization of “Jesus Christ” and the “Holy Spirit,” both as external and separate entities that love everyone and require nothing of anyone, preach simple belief in Jesus as the Son of God means eternal salvation, regardless of how much one sins … and Jesus died so everyone can sin … forever and a day … thanks be to the god of wisdom! That is the purpose of this lesson.
As the Gospel reading selection to be read aloud on the sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry for Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson is to let Jesus die, so he can be reborn as oneself. Do not go about telling others who Jesus was or how Jesus can save everybody and perform miracles. The lesson is to be a follower, one whose personal cross of righteousness is to be an erect stake on the earth, upon which the true vine of Jesus grows, so oneself (as Jesus reborn) produces the good fruit of that vine. To be a true follower of Jesus means to do as Jesus did, after total submission of one’s soul to the Will of the Father. Anything less is letting one’s soul be led to ruin by Satan.