Saturday, April 17, 2010

I got a rock

Studying Peter this week.  What an embarrasment of riches in terms of scripture to consider.  Unfortunately too much for a 40ish minute study.  And with the youth, it seems unsafe to assume that they are already familiar with the stories, although one of my students knows scripture and verse better than I do.

Here's the scripture after the first cut:  (from the NIV and the Message - you can probably tell which is which.)  After the scriptures, I'll share which I included - still too many! - and the questions.

Getting called:
Matthew 4:18-20
“Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, "Come with me. I'll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I'll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass." They didn't ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.”

John 1: 35-42 
The next day John [the Baptist] was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!"  When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?"  They said, "Teacher, where are you staying?"

"Come," he replied, "and you will see."   So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about mid-afternoon.  Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ).  And he brought him to Jesus.  Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Rock).

Matthew 14:22-33 
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.  After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.  But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."  "Come," he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"  And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.  Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Matthew 16: 13-20
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"  They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."  "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"  Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."  Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Matthew 26: 69-75 [While Jesus is being tried by the chief priests]
All this time, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard. One servant girl came up to him and said, "You were with Jesus the Galilean."  In front of everybody there, he denied it. "I don't know what you're talking about."  As he moved over toward the gate, someone else said to the people there, "This man was with Jesus the Nazarene."  Again he denied it, salting his denial with an oath: "I swear, I never laid eyes on the man."  Shortly after that, some bystanders approached Peter. "You've got to be one of them. Your accent gives you away."  Then he got really nervous and swore. "I don't know the man!"

Just then a rooster crowed. Peter remembered what Jesus had said: "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." He went out and cried and cried and cried.

John 21:15-19 (The Message)
After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?"  "Yes, Master, you know I love you."  Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."  He then asked a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"  "Yes, Master, you know I love you."   Jesus said, "Shepherd my sheep." Then he said it a third time: "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"   Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, "Do you love me?" so he answered, "Master, you know everything there is to know. You've got to know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I'm telling you the very truth now: When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you wished, but when you get old you'll have to stretch out your hands while someone else dresses you and takes you where you don't want to go." He said this to hint at the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. And then he commanded, "Follow me."

Acts 4:3-20 
[The Sadducees] seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. 7They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people!  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.  He is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ [Psalm 118]  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.  But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.  So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together.  "What are we going to do with these men?" they asked. "Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it.  But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name."

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.  But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

Acts 15: 5-11
Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."

The apostles and elders met to consider this question.  After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.  Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?  No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."

1 Peter 3: 8-18
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
Whoever wants to embrace life
and see the day fill up with good,
Here's what you do:
Say nothing evil or hurtful;
Snub evil and cultivate good;
run after peace for all you're worth.
God looks on all this with approval,
listening and responding well to what he's asked;
But he turns his back
on those who do evil things.

If with heart and soul you're doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you're still better off. Don't give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They'll end up realizing that they're the ones who need a bath. It's better to suffer for doing good, if that's what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That's what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others' sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.

1 Peter 5: 8-11 
Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

2 Peter 3: 14-18 
So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace. Interpret our Master's patient restraint for what it is: salvation. Our good brother Paul, who was given much wisdom in these matters, refers to this in all his letters, and has written you essentially the same thing. Some things Paul writes are difficult to understand. Irresponsible people who don't know what they are talking about twist them every which way. They do it to the rest of the Scriptures, too, destroying themselves as they do it.

But you, friends, are well-warned. Be on guard lest you lose your footing and get swept off your feet by these lawless and loose-talking teachers. Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Glory to the Master, now and forever! Yes!

I got a rock.

We’ve read a lot about Peter.  He had an amazing life, from fisherman to leader of the Church.  To really study him would take more than a single day, but let’s get a start.  Nobody tried to make Jesus the center of their life with as much enthusiasm as Peter did.

Getting called:
Matthew 4:18-20

1)    What do you learn about Peter here?  About Jesus? 

Matthew 14:22-33 
2)    There was a book recently with the title “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.”  What do we learn about Peter here?

Matthew 16: 13-20
3)    Why give Simon a nickname?  (Cephas is the Greek for rock, while Peter is the Latin.)  What does Jesus mean here about Peter?

In Matthew 26: 69-75 is the story of how Peter denied Jesus three times while he was being tried by the Temple officials.  At the Last Supper Peter told Jesus he would die for him.  Hours later he’s denying he even knows him. 
4)    Have you ever felt rejected by a friend or family member?  Have you ever rejected a friend and then regretted it?

The turning point:  After the resurrection, and the appearances to the apostles in the upper room (the story with Thomas), Jesus appeared to the disciples again at the Sea of Galilee.  The apostles went fishing (Peter’s idea), didn’t catch anything, and didn’t recognize Jesus when he showed up at the shore.  Jesus told them to put the net on the other side, and they caught a boat full of fish.  John realized who he was, and Peter dived in and swam to him.  Jesus had made them breakfast.  And then…

John 21:15-19

5)    Why does Jesus repeat the question?  What does he mean by “feed my sheep”? 

6)    What was Peter feeling during this conversation?

Acts 4:3-20 
7)    How has Peter changed?  How would you describe him now?

Acts 15: 5-11
8)    All through history, and maybe all through your life, people have tried or may try to put extra requirements on being a Christian.  People will say “if you believe that then…” and have ideas of their own.  What would Peter say makes you a Jesus follower?

1 Peter 3: 8-18 
9)    What connections do you see between what Peter writes in this letter and the rest of his story?

10)    What’s one thing you can take away from this study?

1 comment:

  1. Results from Men's study 5/8; in attendance;gary byl, bob vollmer, dan bush, tom wallish, randy deater.
    1) Looking for something more...2 names...brothers...saw the "leadership" in Jesus, didn't have to say much... authority... was able to pickj them as the best of the best
    2) Impulsive... bold... take action... leader ... wanted to imitate (pupil) to Jesus... ready for something new
    3) praying in public... different jobs... starting a family... witnessing... handle with doubt, in a natural way (not with pills to relieve doubt)... chances to witness and didn't
    4)Immovable faith through doubt... this place (in time)in declaring Jesus Son of God(Messiah)... time matched prophecy... Are we still "standing on the Rock (confession of Jesus as Messiah)... Lots of double meanings in the word of Jesus
    5)people that we look down on... anyone that we feel superior over
    6)denials 3x... question him 3x...destroy curse by repeating it 3x... feed my sheep... caring... minister to my people... interesting change from fish to sheep
    7)exasperated... acceptance, like after a child that has been disciplined...marriage, do you still love
    8)ready to preach in Jesus' name... ready to carry his cross... fearless of circumstances.. no matter what... nearly a completely different person... again stepping out of the boat, this time is not going to be turning back(sinking)
    11)we ARE all called to be like Peter... answer the call... go ... stay faithful
    PRAYERS; help us to be like Peter... thank you John... prayer for permanent Pastor... Honduras team... guidance for Supreme Court