Wednesday, October 16, 2013

John 1:40-42 What skills? Part II

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

With all of the skills that we listed yesterday for Simon (Cephas, Peter), we didn't say much about his education (he had little), his people skills (he was rough and abrupt) or about his thoughtfulness before speaking (quite often the length of time between when he thought and when he spoke was measured in microseconds).  He couldn't always be relied upon, either. Does he sound like anyone you know?  Personally, I find that I mirror some of Peter's characteristics!  Not a happy thought.

When Jesus asked Peter, James and John to wait for Him, and to pray while they waited, what did Peter do while Christ agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane? 

He went to sleep.

What did he do when he saw Jesus with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration? 

Came out with an embarrassingly inappropriate comment.

When Jesus was apprehended and was going to be taken to the leaders in the temple, what did Peter do? 

Pulled out his sword and removed an ear from one of the guards.

And lastly, when Christ was being questioned, and Peter was sitting outside by the fire, what did he do when he was questioned about his relationship with Christ?

He denied Him -- not just once, or even twice, but three times.

He had a chance to use his new life skills. The ones that he had learned during three years of following Jesus. He had an opportunity to boldly declare Jesus as his Savior and master, but he denied his Lord three times, cursing on the third and final time. 
After Christ rose, Peter returned to his fishing. We can suppose that he was riddled with guilt, with self-doubt, and with shame. He may have decided never to resume the work that Jesus had taught and trained him for.
But wait!
About thirty days after that, we see Peter standing in front of a huge crowd, boldly preaching -- one of the most powerful sermons ever verbalized -- over 3,000 souls came to repentance and asked forgiveness for their sins that day!
Shortly after that, we see Peter healing a lame man -- and proclaiming the Lordship, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ!
And after that, he was arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. This same man who had been fearful and cowardly was now a lion for God, telling the leaders who wanted to flog and jail him, "We must obey God, rather than man." (Acts 5:29)
What a change . . . what an incredible set of new life skills. What had happened to Peter?
We'll talk about this change tomorrow.


Lora LeBreck said...

So cool. I often have to remind myself that God has to allow everything that happens to happen. Because of his power over everything he could (and sometimes does) stand in the way/inspired us beyond/save us from our mistakes. This helps me remember that there is always a lesson and an opportunity for growth in my problems.

This also makes me think about the "testing" of God - which seems unnecessary coming from an all knowing deity. I see over and over in the Bible that it's possible these "tests" are more for the purpose of showing US who we are, rather than the God who created us and very well KNOWS what we're made of.

Aren't all of our Christ-like moments of power and confident faith from God (so there is no way to boast)? So wasn't Peter's moment of weakness allowed by God? God could have stepped in and filled Peter to the brim with wisdom and Truth and strength...
but He knew just what Peter would need to rely on in the days to come for motivation to do the good work in the name of his crucified and risen Savior.

God is SO good and fair and just.
Thank you for bringing me here today.
SO good. <3

Blessings Jacque,

Ramblingon said...

I am really enjoying this comment.

Belinda said...

Lora, you did good hun!!

We often judge Peter for going to sleep while Christ prayed, but you know...I often fall asleep while I'm praying. What?! Sad but true.

Have I actively denied Christ? Not in words, but in silence.

Have a slipped back from being diligent in my walk with Christ? Of course.

I cannot judge Peter and I certainly do not compare myself to him either. God used this flawed man for His glory. He was tried and tested and he failed sometimes. But sometimes, he was so on fire!!

How mediocre is my faith compared to Peter's? :(