Allow me to give a few comments on this passage in light of the New Creation realities which God has worked in us through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Mar 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Mar 8:32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
Mar 8:33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Mar 8:34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Mar 8:35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
Mar 8:36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Mar 8:37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Mar 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Peter represents the mind that is set upon the flesh which Paul wrote about in Romans 8. In fact a read of Romans 8 parallels with this passage nicely.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
Rom 8:4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Rom 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Jesus was constantly at war with the hard foreheads of the Pharisees. They set their minds on the things of the flesh, were not subject to the Law of God and dwelt in death, serving sin and Satan. There was absolutely NO WAY that all their obedience to the outward law could make them right with God. In Ro8:3 we are told that the mortal flesh of man cannot produce the fruit of righteousness. The chief priests and scribes mentioned by the Lord in Mark 8:31 rejected Jesus and His Word(which was God’s word) because His word exposed their failure to keep the law, their hypocrisy. They were at enmity with Jesus, with God and with themselves, even with all people.
God’s answer to this plight was to send His son in the likeness of sinful flesh. Rom 8:3
Jesus asked the disciples Who do men say that I am? in Mark 8:27-30 Answer? : The Messiah/The Christ/The King of Judah and Israel.
God sent His Son -Jesus The Christ – in the same likeness of sinful flesh as we live in so that He might condemn, judge, damn sin in the flesh to a PERMANENT DEATH ON THE CROSS!
What is this sin in the flesh?
It is this mind that is at enmity with God which Jesus continually had to confront in those around him. It is this mind set upon the flesh which Paul wrote of. A mind that imagines itself to be separate and sovereign from God. A mind that thinks itself to be it’s own master and Lord. A mind that imagines it can produce the righteousness of God by doing good and not doing evil. It is a mind that is hostile to GRACE, it must earn God’s favour or it will not play the game. It is a mind of death….which again is separation from life. It is a mind that is at war with itself and with others, especially with God. It is the Serpent’s mind!!
Thus when Peter began to rebuke Jesus for making clear that He was going to die at the hands of the Chief Priests and Scribes, Jesus turned to Peter and rebuked him saying
GET BEHIND ME SATAN!
“Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful(phroneo) of the things of God, but the things of men.”
From G5424; to exercise the mind, that is, entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensively to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience): – set the affection on, (be) care (-ful), (be like-, + be of one, + be of the same, + let this) mind (-ed, regard, savour, think.
Jesus addressed Satan as Peter and Peter as Satan..it makes no difference. In the same way we are one spirit with Jesus and have the mind of Christ, Peter was at that time one spirit with Satan and had his mind. In fact that is how Paul describes all humanity!!
Eph 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
Eph 2:2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
Eph 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Satan expresses his mind through people. God expresses His mind through people. Which mind we have is determined by who we are in union with. Are we in union in our spirit with Jesus the Son of God? Or are we in union with the Serpent?
The root of the Serpent’s mind is planted in lies which our father Adam chose to tell himself about himself and about God. Paul tells us that Adam was not deceived.
1Ti 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
Adam knew that the Serpent was telling them lies. Yet Adam decided to go with the Lies and the father of them. He sold us all down the creek to a life of misery and torment just so he could be in the superior position over Eve–God’s woman. Adam took the place of “power over”…so that Eve would be enslaved under his superiority. It all hinged upon her being deceived by the lies which Satan and now Adam expressed.[ I wrote about this elsewhere and also Daniel Yordy writes most comprehensively on this subject –see here.]
By biting into the fruit of death, Adam, then, was reaching for two things at the same time, but for one purpose. The two things Adam reached for was, first, word in an impersonal form, word under his control, that is “command and obtain compliance,” with its attendant servant, “hear and obey.” And second, an image of superiority……
……And God’s answer was already inside of Adam. In fact, Adam knew exactly what God’s answer was. Adam knew God – Adam was not deceived.
Just as with the serpent, before Adam ever reached for the fruit from Eve’s hand, iniquity was found inside of him. Paul called that first iniquity “unthankfulness,” that is, refusing to accept that God is with me in these circumstances, sharing all things with me, and together with me turning all things towards goodness through life laid down and love poured out.
And thus, in refusing to accept God-power, the power of respect, Adam wrapped his mind around the other power on offer in that moment, the power of violence to “control.” “If this woman is ‘out of control,’ I will force her under control.” But how could he do such a thing?
In order to possess violent power over Eve, Adam needed the words of command and control/hear and obey. But those horrific words of destruction going out would require a heart within of arrogant superiority.
And in the moment Adam took possession of control, both the serpent and Eve were sealed under darkness.
And all three, then, in that same moment, “became filled with violence within,” that is, pregnant with sin and death. “Designed by word” Ch.9 D Yordy.
Returning to Jesus and Peter…..
When Jesus rebuked Peter He was confronting once again this anti-mind–the mind that is at enmity against God. It is the mind of the Serpent which wants to control and dominate all others out there. And it finds it’s full expression in those who are trying hard to please God!! That is the mystery of it all. The most religion people are the moist violent! The ones who claim to be pleasing God the most are the ones who crucified Jesus!
Jesus told Peter…For you are not mindful(phroneo) of the things of God, but the things of men. “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
The mind of the Serpent is a false story of self
Jesus loved/es the Pharisees…Jesus loved/es Peter. Jesus loves you and me. His aim is always to set us free, not to condemn anyone. We do that all on our own(with Satan’s help of course!)
Saying you are not mindful of the things of God is translated by Paul later in Romans 8 as “the mind of the flesh”. This is the mind or the LIFE –the story we are telling ourselves constantly about our “self.” It is an imagination…a false dialogue…high minded and self conceited. It is a story of one trying to be good enough, thinking they have the responsibility to be good, thinking that they must try to be like Jesus, try to measure up to His standard, try to appear righteous, try try try!! It is the mind set upon the things of man…AND NOT THE THINGS OF GOD!!
Question: What are “the things of God?”
Answer: Jesus Christ sent into your heart by faith.
Some might say “oh, the things of God are all the things He has told us to obey. To go and preach the Gospel, to make disciples, to be holy, etc etc”….But this again is the Serpent’s mind at work! The Serpent –or the mind of the flesh, the mind mindful of the things of man, is convinced by it’s own delusion that it has what it takes to obey God. This is the enmity and ultimately the hatred of the religious mind at any mention of grace. The mind full of the things of God is the mind of Christ. Let this mind be in you. You have the mind of Christ.
The mind of Christ knows of it’s own self it can do nothing. It is not just a saying. Jesus really meant it. He was telling you and me the truth when He declared …
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19
Being mindful–having a mind full- of the things of God….is to KNOW without any doubt…to come to a place of full acceptance…until it is a natural instinctual reality of ours..THAT WE OF OUR OWN SELF CAN DO NOTHING!!!!!
We see this time and again demonstrated in the Bible, none better than in Joseph, son of Jacob. He was clearly shown that he would be leader over all his brothers, and that all his family would bow down to him. Yet , Joseph had no ability or power to fulfill that dream. Thrown into a pit, sold as a slave in a foreign land, falsely accused of rape, imprisoned for nearly 20 years, forgotten about…gone, dead, silent before God.
This is the mind of Christ.” I can do nothing of myself.”
That includes loving people, showing mercy, preaching the good news, everything!!
The mind of the flesh says, I can do whatever I set my mind upon. I can be like Jesus if I try. Then after trying and failing, we learn to lie about it to ourselves and others…and then we eventually cry about it and ask God “Why oh Why cant I be like Jesus!!!???”
God’s answer is the same as what He said in Genesis 1. Let us make man in our image and our likeness!! You are like Jesus, you just do not believe it. You have been sold a pack of lies all your life. It is called the mind set on the flesh…being mindful of the things of man…the Serpent’s mind!
Remember it was Lucifer who made the boastful claims….
Isa 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
Isa 14:13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
Isa 14:15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
God made man – women and men- in His own image…He did not make Angels in his same image. Satan wanted what was given to us. To be seated with Christ in heavenly places, to be seated in the throne of God, to be joint heirs with Jesus over all things. The one who would take it for himself is the one who does not inherit it. The one who receives of the abundance of grace …..
Rom 5:17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one,much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
To receive grace, we must truly know and admit our need of it. No one who harbours any thought about being able to obey God, to be like Jesus, or even to try to be like Jesus can receive grace from God. God wants us to come to see this about ourselves. We are not made to be on our own, separate from God trying to be like God. We are made to be in perfect and complete union with God at a spirit level.
This is what God meant when He declared that He would make man in His own image.
Jesus was not a separate fellow running around trying to obey God each moment. He was truly human. That is in and of himself he could DO NOTHING!! He was weak, he was mortal. But Jesus knew union with Father. Read some of Jesus plain statements about the reality that He lives in and which we also live in….
John 14:20 At that day you will know that I am inside My Father, and you inside Me, and I inside you. Joh 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are inside Me, and I inside You; that they also may be one inside Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Joh 17:22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
Joh 17:23 I inside them, and You inside Me; that they may be made perfect inside one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Joh 14:7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Joh 14:8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
Joh 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Joh 14:10 Do you not believe that I am inside the Father, and the Father inside Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells inside Me does the works.
Joh 14:11 Believe Me that I am inside the Father and the Father inside Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
What this means in relation to Jesus rebuking Peter….
Jesus went onto tell Peter and all….
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
The “self” Jesus is saying to deny is the self story the Serpent gave all mankind through Adam. I am separate from God over here, God is up there, I must do something to please God. Take up your cross–is translated by Paul–who was given revelation by Jesus to open up the Gospel to us. It is Galatians 2:20—I am crucified with Christ!! It is NO LONGER I THAT LIVE!!! But Christ who lives inside me…and life I now live(joined as one with Jesus in my heart)I live by His faith, the faith of the son of God!! REST IN JESUS!!
If however you desire to save that serpent mind…I can do it God mind….I can obey you God….mind….if you wish to save that mind as the mind you live from FOR God….then??? Then you shall lose it. God is the enemy of that mind and you will find yourself in opposition(satan)to God. Even though you are trying to serve God, you by your obstinate pride and delusion, imagining yourself to be able to obey God, shall remain under the judgement of God. Troubles shall come your way to teach you that you cannot ever please God of your own self. See Peter’s denial of Jesus!
But if on the other hand you wake up and say along with God, I can of my own self do nothing Father!! Here I am in union with you Jesus…Here I am just like You Lord Jesus, one with Father inside of you….If that is your declaration of His faith, then you agree with God that you have lost your old life and now Jesus becomes your new true life–for He is your only life in truth.
Then Jesus said— Mar 8:36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Indeed, the mind of the Serpent knows inwardly that it is bankrupt, so it tries to gather to itself many things in order to give the appearance of being blessed by God for it’s obedience. Hahahaha!! Thus many in so called prosperity gospel groups are doing just this. Outward riches and success mean nothing. Inward peace and rest is all that matters.
Paul said that “what was gain to me” –this I have counted as dung, rubbish. He was speaking of the old “me” the mind of the serpent, set upon the things of man. Paul the great teacher, the Pharisee, the blameless law keeper…all of it was DUNG!!! It was gain to me…it made me look good….”EEEEWWW There goes Saul, an obedient servant of God!! Wow wee!!” DUNG!! CRAPPP!!
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Php 3:9 and be found inside Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through the faith inside Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
This is Paul summing up Mark 8:35! I am glad to lose my old self life, I reject that old self story….I take up the story of union with Jesus Christ as my only story of self. Just as He is, so am I…just as I am, so is He!! We are one. It is Christ Jesus living as me…living me! It is not me trying to live FOR GOD….that is the enemy’s lie…it is Jesus living as and with me together in perfect union, fulling pleasing God by what Jesus did already on the cross!!
Mar 8:37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
A man cannot exchange his soul on his own….but God gave us His only son in exchange for our old sin soaked self.
“…and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Gal 2:20b
Jesus gave us His soul..His self story…to be our own self story, intertwined all through our story. The translators used the English word Lose as in lose your soul…and of course people think that means die and go to Hell. But it properly means to injure or damage your soul. A man only has his soul to give….and if he damages it by focusing on all this outward show of pretended obedience, with what shall he fix it dear Henry with what? God has fixed it dear Liza, dear Liza! God has fixed it dear Liza, dear Liza, fixed it!! Jesus is become our all in all. Our life! Our self. The One who pleases Father.
Man cannot find anything else within himself to give in exchange for his damaged soul/life….But God our Father provides healing for our soul in giving us Jesus His only Son to be our very Life within. Precious OHHH SO PRECIOUS!!!
Jesus finishes by saying Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words….Mark 8:38
See this is it…this is the crux of the matter. Is Jesus your ONLY LIFE…or do you prefer a life not His…a life of your own imagination….a life separated from Jesus, but trying to be like Jesus?? If that is what you prefer, then you shall suffer shame and reproach and loss.
But if you glory in the new life which God has raised up inside of your heart—even Jesus Christ Himself–in your heart…if you call your self by a new name–Dennis inside Christ Jesus…Den in Christ…then your delight in Jesus as your ONLY LIFE shall cause Father great joy and an overflow of grace welling up inside you.
Col 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ inside God.
Col 3:4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him inside glory.