Posted August 8, 2013 by FLL Editorial Team in
 
 

Peter recognizes Jesus as the Messiah

那時候,耶穌來到了斐理伯的凱撒勒雅境內,就問門徒說:「人們說人子是誰?」他們說:「有人說是洗者若翰;有人說是厄里亞;也有人說是耶肋米亞,或先知中的一位。」耶穌對他們說:「你們說我是誰?」西滿伯多祿回答說:「你是默西亞,永生天主之子。」耶穌回答他說:「約納的兒子西滿,你是有福的!因為不是肉和血啟示了你,而是我在天之父。我再給你說:你是伯多祿(磐石),在這磐石上,我要建立我的教會,陰間的門決不能戰勝她。我要將天國的鑰匙交給你:凡你在地上所束縛的,在天上也要被束縛;凡你在地上所釋放的,在天上也要被釋放。」他遂即嚴禁門徒,不要對任何人說他是默西亞。

從那時起,耶穌就開始向門徒說明:他必須上耶路撒冷去,要由長老、司祭長和經師們受許多痛苦,並將被殺,但第三天要復活。伯多祿便拉耶穌到一邊,諫責他說:「主,千萬不可!這事絕不會臨到你身上!」耶穌轉身對伯多祿說:「撒殫,退到我後面去!你是我的絆腳石,因為你所體會的,不是天主的事,而是人的事。」
瑪竇福音 16:13-23

St_-Peter-statue-Vatican在今天的福音中,耶穌問門徒人們認為祂是誰。他們向祂覆述坊間的傳言,說祂是復活的洗者若翰,或是舊約中的先知中的一位。然後耶穌要門徒自己思考,對他們來說,祂究竟是誰。那是門徒與耶穌的關係中重要的一刻。

西滿伯多祿回答說:「你是默西亞,永生天主之子。」為他和其他門徒,這是向前邁進了一大步。但他們當時並未完全認識耶穌的身份和使命。耶穌稱讚他,並讓他知道那是天父啟示了他。耶穌並稱西滿為伯多祿(磐石),給予他「天國的鑰匙」,即力量和權力。由此可見,伯多祿的權力和教會的權力,就是耶穌的權力。值得留意的是在亞拉美語和希伯來文中,在這之前,從沒有人名叫「伯多祿」的。

由他們意識到耶穌是默西亞的那刻起,耶穌便預備他們,讓他們知道之後要發生的事:「他必須上耶路撒冷去,要由長老、司祭長和經師們受許多痛苦,並將被殺,但第三天要復活。」我們很難想像他們聽到這些話會有多驚訝。他們剛知道師傅是默西亞,伯多祿更剛剛被立為領袖,這些可怕的事怎能發生?伯多祿把耶穌拉到一邊,對祂說:「主,千萬不可!這事絕不會臨到你身上!」他怎樣也想不到耶穌會稱他為撒殫,叫他做絆腳石!他才剛被視作可以依靠的磐石,轉眼間竟成了阻礙耶穌的絆腳石。

伯多祿和其他門徒用了一些時間才能接受一位受苦至死的默西亞。我們也應問自己,究竟我有多接受這位被拒絕、受盡磨難、死而復活的耶穌?

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
Matthew 16:13-23

In today’s Gospel, Jesus begins by asking his disciples who people think he really is. They respond with some of the speculations that were going round: he was John the Baptist resurrected from the dead or some of the great prophets. Then Jesus let them think for themselves, who He is for them. It was a moment of truth, a very special moment in his disciples’ relationship with their Master.

Simon speaks up: “You are the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God.” It is a huge step forward for Peter and his companions. But it is not yet a total recognition of his identity or mission. He is praised for his insight but Jesus makes clear that it comes from divine inspiration. And then Jesus calls Simon “Peter”, a play on the word for “rock”. He is given the “keys of the kingdom”, which is power and authority. We can see that his authority and that of the “church” is the authority of Jesus himself. Note that “Peter” in either its Aramaic or Hebrew was not a previously known personal name.

From the moment that they recognize Jesus as Messiah, He begins to prepare them for what is going to happen. “[The Son of Man] must go to Jerusalem to suffer greatly at the hands of the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and to be put to death, and raised up on the third day.” It is hard for us to imagine the impact these words must have had. They just found out their Master was the Messiah, and Peter was just appointed as a leader, how could such terrible things happen? Peter takes Jesus aside and said: “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He would never have thought that Jesus would call him Satan and an “obstacle”. Not long ago, he is seen as a rock, and now he is seen as a stumbling block.

It will take time before Peter and the others both understand and accept the idea of a suffering and dying Messiah. We should also ask ourselves, to what extent we accept Jesus the rejected, suffering, dying and rising Messiah?


FLL Editorial Team