24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 12/9/2021 - Gospel:
Right and Wrong
Jesus wanted to know what people thought about Him. He asked His disciples 'Who do people say I am?' They told Him, 'John the Baptist, others Elijah and others again, one of the prophets'v.28. Each of the answers was reflecting not Jesus' life- mission, but a small part of it. These answers were not the answer Jesus was looking for. He then asked His disciples, 'Who do you say I am?' Peter answered: 'You are the Christ' v.30. Jesus praised Peter for the correct answer. Jesus himself didn't use the title 'Christ' but preferred to use the phrase 'The Son of Man'. The title probably emphasized the cruelty men treated other men, and they would do the same for 'The Son of Man'. Peter was right, and a few moments later, he was wrong. Peter was right when his answer came from God; Peter was wrong, when the thoughts came from only human perspective. Peter got Jesus' title right, but failed to understand its implications. Jesus unfolded what the title implied for Him, and it was too much for Peter take in.

'The Son of Man was destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again'. v.32

Jesus' revelation was devastating news for all of the apostles. Human logic couldn't make sense of it. Death meant losing, not winning. Three days after death, all hopes were lost, including the hope of seeing Jesus again. For Jesus losing in this life, for the Gospel, meant winning eternal life; and winning in this life, for the Fallen world, meant losing eternal life v35.

Peter was wrong for several reasons. First, he was overstepping the mark. Instead of asking for clarification, Peter offered the answer which Jesus didn't ask him to do. His role was not Jesus' adviser. He was a student, and the student should listen to the Master, not the other way round.

Jesus gave the orders to the apostles 'not to tell anyone about Him' v.30. The reason was probably to stop the spread of false views of the title. What people expected of 'Christ' was different from what Jesus revealed. Even the closest ones, the apostles, could not understand. It would be better not to talk about something they would not understand until they had witnessed the Risen Lord.
Jesus told Peter, his view about 'Christ' was not the view of an individual, but general view of humanity.

'The way you think is not God's way but man's v.33'.

Jesus told Peter that,

a/ To do God's will one must follow not human ways, but God's way. God's way is humble and gentle.

b/ Human beings like to put not God's Will as their first priority, but their own.

c/ Peter probably thought he was doing something good, honest, and doing God's will. Jesus told him, his view was purely human.

d/ Our way often interrupts God's way. We interrupt God's way in a violent, cruel form. The Fallen World uses violence and cruelty to win people. They win on the outside, in appearances, not in the inner life, the heart. God's way is gentle and light, and aims to win a person's in the heart and soul.

We all like to dismiss the image of a Servant King, and love to embrace the image of the most Powerful, Victorious King. We would not like the idea of cross- bearing, and self- denial, the way which Jesus had undertaken. We love to embrace popularity, being praised and having worldly glory. The man- Jesus chose to be humble, to be judged, rejected and executed. It is the way man deals with another man. God's way is love and life and mercy.