While traveling between villages, Jesus asks His disciples who the people believe He is. They say, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” (Mark 8:28) Oddly enough, these opinions of Jesus’ true identity show that belief in resurrection from the dead is not an issue for “the people.”
Jesus then asks the disciples, “But you, who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29) And Peter’s response is immediate. Peter calls Jesus “the Messiah!” (Mark 8:30) Jesus warns Peter and the disciples to keep this information to themselves.
As they continue, Jesus begins to teach them about His upcoming rejection, trial, scourging, crucifixion, and His ultimate triumph: His resurrection. “He is openly talking about this.” (Mark 8:32) And this bothers Peter so much that he takes Jesus aside. “Come here, Jesus.” He “begins to rebuke Him.” (Mark 8:32)
If you will indulge me some conjecture, imagine Peter standing tall over Jesus like a big brother telling Him, “You mustn’t talk about these things; don’t You know how upsetting this is for those of us who have given up everything to follow You? Don’t you know we’re scared? Can’t You tell that we keep anticipating Your triumph over this evil regime? What are you talking about? Come on, get Yourself together and let’s make this happen already!”
Jesus turns away from Peter, and “looking at His disciples, He rebukes Peter and says, “Get behind Me, Satan, because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s!” (Mark 8:33) Then He calls out for the crowd that has obviously been following closely and says, “If anyone wants to be My follower, He must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it. For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life? What can a man give in exchange for his life? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of 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.” (Mark 8:34-38)