Sunday, March 6, 2011

Peter – Part Two

Peter is a unique character of the Bible.  I’ve given him the title of one of the most interesting men of the Bible, and I do so because of the passages studied today.  I’m taking a look at Peter and what his concept of Christ was.  I don’t think Peter’s concept of Christ was much different than ours today.

Taking a look first of all at Matthew 16:13-16, Christ asks Peter this very question; “Who do you say that I am?”  Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”  Back in this time, the word Christ (or Messiah) denoted the ideal king anointed and empowered by God to rescue his people from his enemies and establish his righteous kingdom.  The ideas that clustered around the title “Messiah” tended to be political and national in nature.  What Peter and the disciples were basically looking for was for someone to come and establish an earthly kingdom with an earthly leader that would take over the world and reign.  That’s what we see with James and John in the book of Mark as they’re asking to sit on either side of Christ when he reigned in what the two of them believed to be an earthly kingdom. 

We see this same mindset in Mark 8:32-33 also.  Here Peter has just heard that Christ is predicting His death and Peter pulls Jesus aside and begins to rebuke Him.  In Peter’s concept of establishing a kingdom, there isn’t any room for suffering and rejection like what Christ was talking about.  He seemed to think that this was inconceivable and wrong.  In the next verse we see Christ adamantly telling Peter to “get behind me Satan!”  Strong words to call one of your men “Satan”.  However, the reason for this is Peter’s attempt to keep Jesus off the cross was the equivalent of the temptation by Satan at the outset of Christ’s ministry.  What Peter was unknowingly trying to do was keep Christ from fulfilling His mission. 

The last passage we’ll look at is in John 6:68.  We see that Peter finally gets it.  In the verses previously, many people who were considered followers of Christ decide to up and leave.  They deserted the Son of God.  In verse 67, Jesus asks the disciples if they want to go as well. That’s when we see Peter, speaking for the other eleven disciples says to Christ; “Who would we go to? You have the words of eternal life.”  They had finally entered a state of belief and knowledge that this was the Messiah that they had been looking for.

So what is the concept of Christ that we have?  Is He a “genie in a bottle” that we keep bottled up until we need something then “poof” He appears and grants us our wish?  Is He a “just a good man” who lived life as perfectly as he could.  Is He a “perfectionist father” who is never pleased by anything you do?  If your concept of Jesus  is anything other than the Son of God who will be returning to take us to Heaven, you’re not seeing the Jesus of the Bible.  He came to die for my sins and the whole world’s sins.  That’s who Jesus really is.

Think about it


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