First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Building a Foundation of Faith (c)
It was Peter who had the heaven inspired revelation of Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16: 15 – 16)
Even though Peter had a deep revelation and knew Jesus had words of eternal life, Peter had years of Jewish teachings on all of the unfulfilled prophecies for Israel. The unfulfilled prophecies must have seemed to be at odds with Jesus’ teachings. How could the promises for Israel’s restoration be fulfilled if you had to become like a child to enter into the kingdom of God?
What did Peter do?
He probably put two and two together to figure out the kingdom of God from what Jesus taught and what he already knew. Therefore, if Jesus was the Messiah and Israel had been promised that a Redeemer would restore Israel to its former prosperous place in history, then the Kingdom of God would be much like Israel was under King David, except the new King would do miracles. Peace would come. The lamb and the wolf would graze together, the lion would eat straw with the ox and dust would be the serpent’s food.
There are numerous scriptures backing up Peter’s logic, but it was neither God’s way nor His timing. So, when Jesus taught the disciples He was going to suffer, die, be buried and then be raised up again, Peter could not believe his ears and even rebuked Him. Jesus said to him:
Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s. (Matthew 16:23)
This particular exchange took place a little more than six months before Jesus’ death on the cross. All through the weeks following this particular event, Jesus continued to teach His disciples.
“Let these words sink into your ears, for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement. (Luke 9: 45 – 46)
Remember: the Kingdom of God − between Jesus first coming and His second coming − is a spiritual kingdom, which is not seen with the human eye. It is one which has to be received by faith and cannot be understood by logic or knowledge.
Thus, Peter’s faith in his deception came to an end in the Garden of Gethsemane.
I believe Jesus said approximately the same words to Peter, which He spoke to Cleopas and the other traveler when He met them near Emmaus:
And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24: 25 – 27)
All of these Old Testament scriptures spoken by the Living Word would have opened Peter’s eyes so that his heart would have burned in his chest once more, filled with faith.
What can we learn about faith from Peter’s experience?
And Jesus answered, saying to them, “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11: 22)
Our faith must always, always, always be in God and not in our interpretations of Scripture. It is God who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, not our traditions.
(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)