get behind me!

I hesitate to even use the word “get” in a title, after years of being told that it’s not a good word to use in English. Today, we would use “get behind me” to talk about a show of support, but it works a little bit differently in first century language: it’s more like “depart or go away”.  The expression is the same in Matthew and in Mark, and is entirely missing from Luke, who has chosen to leave out that particular rebuke of Peter from his version of events.

Here are the three gospels that each have three incidences of Jesus predicting his own death to his disciples. They seem upset, but confused about it: in fact they all seem blindsided by it when it finally happens.

See what you think: it’s pretty clear from the different stories that Jesus  was expecting to die, but that his followers were unable to form that idea in their heads! In Luke, there even seems to be an expectation that there will be suffering for people who want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.

 

MATTHEW

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” 

 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 16:21–23.

 

Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection

22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. 

 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 17:22–23.

 

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” 

 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 20:17–19.

MARK

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” 

 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mk 8:31–33.

 

Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. 

 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mk 9:30–32.

 

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.” 

 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mk 10:32–34.

 

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LUKE

Jesus Foretells His Death

21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” 

 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Lk 9:21–27.

 

43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God. 

Jesus Again Foretells His Death

But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying. 

 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Lk 9:43–45.

 

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

31 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” 34 But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said. 

 

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Lk 18:31–34.