Friday, April 25, 2014

How Do We See Him?

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) (Acts 1:15 KJV)
This icon is from a monastery on Mount Sinai, created in the sixth century. Most artists depict Peter at this age or older – grayed hair, or balding, an experienced elder. Since tradition gives his death date as somewhere just before 70 AD, we can be pretty sure this isn’t how he looked when Andrew came to Peter after following Jesus:

One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. (John 1:40-41 KJV)

Even here, Andrew is identified as “Simon Peter’s brother.” John wrote that knowing most readers could identify Peter, so Peter was outstanding by the time this was written. Perhaps because he was so outspoken. He was the first to identify Jesus as the expected Messiah:

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:15-16 KJV)

Of course, he was among the first to be admonished – in that same chapter, just a few verses later:

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:23 KJV)

There are quite a few instances where Peter made the wrong stand, including showing he had not listened to Jesus’ words to turn the other cheek. Matthew and Mark tell the same story, but John identifies the sword wielder:

Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. (John 18:10 KJV)

Peter denied knowing Jesus, publicly, three times, ending with a curse:

Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:74-75 KJV)

Yet it was Peter who spoke out at Pentecost:

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: (Acts 2:14 KJV)

They did hearken to his words, and those words were repetitions of what Christ taught. They both spoke of fulfilled prophecy, the love of God for mankind – all mankind, as Peter learned more:

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (Acts 10:34-35 KJV)

That’s how I see Peter – receiving new information from God and understanding its application to lives, sharing what he’s learned with those who love God.

How do you see him?


  1. I love the real relationship that Peter had with Jesus. It gives all of us a bit of hope.

    1. Oh, yes! I see myself in his questions, his eagerness - and his ability to mess up. After Pentecost, he took the leadership role Jesus knew he could handle. That's the example I need to follow.


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