Did Peter denying Christ three times actually strengthen the rock which we call Peter? Was our foundation tested at that point in time in front of Jesus and He came back in His resurected body to make sure that the foundation of His Church was not cracked, yet solid for the test of time. To make sure that his chosen apostles were still united as one, and even when one named Judas fell from God’s grace the 11 remaining with Christ selected the 2nd 12th, perhaps to establish an ongoing ritual of an apostletic succession for all time.
I feel that Peter’s denial of Jesus teaches us a lesson that no matter how poor our faith, we, too can become “rocks” of faith, like Peter.
The twelve apostles needed to be in place during the Pentecost, to represent the twelve tribes of the new Israel.
[quote=Reid]Did Peter denying Christ three times actually strengthen the rock which we call Peter? Was our foundation tested at that point in time in front of Jesus and He came back in His resurected body to make sure that the foundation of His Church was not cracked, yet solid for the test of time. To make sure that his chosen apostles were still united as one, and even when one named Judas fell from God’s grace the 11 remaining with Christ selected the 2nd 12th, perhaps to establish an ongoing ritual of an apostletic succession for all time.
The denial was foretold by Jesus just before Peter did it, so I dont think there are any “cracks” of any kind. Also his 3 time denial was subsequently made up for in the 3 time request/establishment of Peter as head Shepherd as told in John 21:15-19.
Peter is the big brave tough guy when Jesus is around. He attacks a temple guard with a sword when he makes a move towards his Beloved Master. Wouldn’t you feel invincible being with Him?
Suddenly, Jesus is not within sight of Him. Then what?
A maid, some guards and slaves suddenly become a threat. Peter doesn’t want the same fate. He is not ready. Had the guards had orders to arrest anyone else, they would have done so by then, for they were all standing by the fire getting warm.
What happens to our invincibility, our confidence, when we lose sight of our Beloved Master? Are we not as weak and cowardly as Peter? We become afraid that losing approval will cost us something instead of taking a stand for the truth.
Look at the questions they asked Peter:
Maid: "You are not the one of this man’s disciples, are you?"
guard:"You are not the one of this man’s disciples, are you?"
slave: “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
None of Peter’s interogators ask Peter if he is a follower of the Son of God. How many of our ‘interogators’, or temptations, or the disapprovers in our lives ask us if we are following the truth of who we are? In the image and likeness…? How many times are we like Peter when we fall!
While Peter was making denials, he was too self-absorbed to remember what Jesus told him. He was afraid of what those in the square might do to him. He had seen savage stonings in his life. It was an escape from suffering. How often do we run from our daily cross to escape?
We may not “weep bitterly” for our sins. But when we hear the cock of conscience crowing, Jesus is there in the confessional, with his arms outstretched in love, acceptance, healing, and forgivness. A shower for the soul. Our sins become as mist, and God’s forgetfulness is deeper than the sea. What have we to fear?
Jesus healed and forgave Peter’s three fold denial in his three fold command: Feed My sheep. His command had everything to do with “the foundation”, the office of Prince of the Apostles. His denial had everything to do with his weakness as a human being.
Peter’s human weakness has nothing to do with his divine appointment. It didn’t then and it doesn’t now. To diminish Peter’s authority on the grounds of his denial is bible twisting at its worst, and not worth elaborating on right now.
I didn’t pick the nic “kepha” because it looks cute, and it’s not with a capital “K”.
[quote=Reid]Did Peter denying Christ three times actually strengthen the rock which we call Peter?
Great question. In my opinion, yes. I would rather follow a wise old leader who has made big mistakes and learned from them than follow a whippersnapper with all the intellectual answers and no experience.
Good decisions come from experience, which comes from bad decisions. Or something like that.
I think that Peter had a big old spot of pride in his heart yet telling him he could do things on his own. By his own strength he would never deny Christ. But Christ brought him to his knees by presenting him with his worst nightmare. He found he did not have the strength he thought he did and fell in to sin. Fortunately the merciful eyes of our savior were cast upon him as the cock crowed and he was moved to truly and deeply repent. He lost faith in himself and his own stength. This made him ready for the Holy Spirit on Pentecost which would leave him stronger than he ever could have been on his own. My 2 cents.