Peter before & after Pentecost

9 04 2012

Peter, Jesus’ disciple was a disciple of great contrasts. I see a man that desperately wanted to do well and to do right in Jesus’ eyes, and yet he failed continually in his own strength and ability. In all honesty, his behaviour was at times erratic to say the least.

Let’s look at a few examples of these moments as we read in the four historic gospels:

Mat 14:28-31 KJV  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  (29)  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  (30)  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  (31)  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Peter was almost arrogantly confident if I could use the term, when he asked Jesus to call him to walk on the water. Peter was “full” of “human faith” and he actually walked on the water with Jesus for a brief moment and then his faith wavered and he began to sink. Peter went from having lots of human faith to zero all in a few seconds.

Then we read this:

Mat 16:15-23 KJV  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  (16)  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  (17)  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  (18)  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  (19)  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  (20)  Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.  (21)  From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.  (22)  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.  (23)  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.

In this account, Jesus asks His disciples who He was. Peter was the only one to answer by revelation that Jesus was the Christ. Imagine how proud and good Peter must have felt in front of his fellow disciples as Jesus commended him. Then Peter contradicts Jesus saying that Jesus will not die. Peter was strutting his stuff and I am sure that he was on  a high after Jesus’ statement that His Church would be built on the revelation that Jesus was the Christ. Jesus turns around and rebuked Peter harshly saying “get thee behind me Satan!!!!” What a contrast? Imagine how Peter must have felt with Jesus’ scathing rebuke?

Peter was part of Jesus’ inner circle of guys, where Jesus personally selected him to come apart with Him for a while. Peter continually failed even though he tried and gave it everything he had in his own power:

Mat 26:33-75 KJV  Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.  (34)  Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.  (35)  Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.  (36)  Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  (37)  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  (38)  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.  (39)  And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  (40)  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  (41)  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  (42)  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  (43)  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 

Can you see it? Peter wanted to stay awake and pray, but he just couldn’t. His flesh was weak. the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”

Then Jesus is arrested and all the disciples flee. Peter as usual is trying to do the right thing, and waits at the palace where Jesus is being held prisoner:

Mat 26: 69-75 KJV  Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.  (70)  But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.  (71)  And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.  (72)  And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.  (73)  And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.  (74)  Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.  (75)  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.

One moment Peter said to Jesus that he was willing to die with Him, and a few days later Jesus is arrested and Peter blatantly denies even knowing Jesus THREE times!!!

What we must UNDERSTAND IS in all the preceding verses and accounts, is that Peter and ALL the other disciples were NOT BORN AGAIN! While Jesus was on the earth, the disciples could not be born again. Because of this fact, the disciples were not operating from Spirit, but were operating under the authority of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit, was not poured out yet because Jesus had not yet ascended. This means that the disciples could not have Christ in them, as we born again believers have, until the day of Pentecost. After the disciples received the Holy Spirit, received Christ in them, they began to operate under the strength and ability of Christ in them. It was no longer Peter and his faith, but it was now Peter and the faith of Christ in him. When Peter preached in Acts 2:14-41, he was a completely different person. He preached with fervour and power and he was not afraid of being persecuted. He walked in a completely new way. It was no longer Peter trying to do good and be good, it was Christ in Peter doing good and being good!!!!!

Christ in us the hope of glory…….

 

 


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