Reading last Sunday’s and this Sunday’s Gospels together, if this was a movie, immediately after Jesus tells the Apostles that his identity as the Messiah is a secret...everything would change.
With dramatic music swelling in the background, their secret undisclosed location (“in the region of Caesarea Philippi”) would be revealed as the hidden entrance to the rebels’ secret base under Mount Hermon. Entering through a high-tech elevator, Jesus and the Apostles would sweep past massing troops, arsenals of impressive weapons, and ground crews busily arming fighter-bombers (who knew the Messiah had X-wings?) into the war room - where Jesus would reveal his plan to overthrow the (Roman) Empire.
From Peter’s reaction to what Jesus actually does say after telling the Apostles that his identity as the Messiah is a secret, it’s pretty clear that Peter was expecting the first century version of that movie cliché. Or, at least, for Jesus to say something like “I have a cunning plan…”
Instead, Jesus describes what sounds more like the life of Jeremiah than a plan to overthrow the Empire. Which is why Peter is so upset. This isn’t the Messiah he was expecting at all.
More on this tomorrow.