But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and *said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
The phrase “setting your mind” in Mark 8:33 is the Greek word phroneó and it means I think, judge, observe. The HELPS Word-studies adds:
phronéō (from Strong’s 5424 /phrḗn, “the midriff or diaphragm; the parts around the heart,” J. Thayer) – properly, regulate (moderate) from within, as inner-perspective (insight) shows itself in corresponding, outward behavior. 5426 (phronéō) essentially equates to personal opinion fleshing itself out in action(see J. Thayer). This idea is difficult to translate into English because it combines the visceral and cognitive aspects of thinking.
Visceral thinking is related to our deep inward feelings and cognitive thinking is related to or involving conscious mental activities (such as thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering). This Greek word combines both of these as one. That’s a pretty intense word when you really think about it. Thus the reason that it would be more than a thought, but would always show itself through actions.
Let’s place ourselves in the skin of Peter in this moment. He thinks he is coming to bat for his friend and teacher and in return he is rebuked. Can you imagine the halt of his mouth and shock on his face as Jesus identified him as Satan himself? Jesus related Peter to Satan because of the words that came out of his mouth and it was these words that led to this rebuke.
The rebuke that Jesus gave to Peter was the exact rebuke that He gave to Satan when in the wilderness at the beginning of His ministry. In Mark 8:32 we read, “And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.” When you look at the Greek tense of the word rebuke in this verse we learn that this was not a rash emotional statement that came flying out of Peter’s mouth in response to Jesus teaching of His arrest and death. This word tells us that Peter kept on rebuking. Peter basically was telling Jesus that He didn’t know what He was talking about and that He needed to stop saying crazy stuff like that because it would not happen. Therefore, Jesus called him Satan because Peter was demanding the very same thing that Satan had offered… a crown without a cross.
After Jesus rebuked Peter He called the crowds and the disciples to Him and said:
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
There would be no crown without a cross, not for Jesus, not for Peter, and not for us. A crown without a cross is a lie and lies come from Satan, because he is the father of lies (John 8:44). Yet, how we desire a crown without a cross! We don’t want the cross. We despise the cross. We want to point to Jesus’ cross and say that’s enough. Why should I have to have a cross?
When we bow our knee and lift our prayers up for our nation, how many of us pray out of our fear of the cross? How many of us pray with the voice of Satan, requesting a crown without a cross? How many of us pray that God would never put us (or our children) in a situation that we would have to choose the cross or deny Christ? Do we lift up prayers that really are focused on our own interests rather than God’s?
Oh, let us brave!
Let us be strong and courageous!
Let us take up our own cross and throw down the world’s crowns!
Let us set our minds on the things above not on the things of this earth (Colossians 3:2). Let us not seek after our own interest but seek first the kingdom of our God! Let us not bow to the temptation of Satan and his offer of a crown that comes without a cross. Let us follow Christ… even to the death… even to death on a cross.
This can only be done in and through Christ. We can not will ourselves to carry a cross. Our hearts and our minds have to be transformed and renewed and only God and His Word can accomplish this miracle. Human wisdom and might will never give us the ability to walk this out. Fear of death will win every time.
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself [Jesus] likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
Jesus took up His cross so that we might have the power to take up ours. Jesus took up a cross that bore the wrath of God so that we would be able to have the power to take up a cross that bares the wrath of the world. Jesus came and endured His cross so that we could endure ours, not avoid it. There is no crown without a cross. Satan simply offers the crown first and then leaves you with the cross. Jesus offers you the cross and then leaves you with the crown.
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.