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Bible Lives  

13-5-1 Peter And Christ

The focus of Peter in the final maturity of his letters was undoubtedly the Lord Jesus. We have shown elsewhere how Paulís recorded words and writings refer to the Gospels at least once every three verses. Alfred Norris (Peter: Fisher Of Men) has listed around 40 connections between Peterís letters and the Gospels. And there are more. This makes a similar figure- once every three verses, Peter is alluding to the Lordís words. And the figure is probably higher, seeing that we donít know all the words and actions of the Lord Jesus, and probably Peter is alluding to incidents and words which arenít recorded. Like Paul, Peterís mind was saturated with the Lord Jesus. This was the secret of his spirituality, this was why he could cope with the ministry to the Gentiles which he had so boldly started being taken away from him and given to Paul, this was why he didnít slump into a life of melancholy bitterness.  

Some of his allusions are conscious allusions (e.g. those to the transfiguration). Others seem almost unconscious- e.g. the way he cites both Noah and Lot (2 Pet. 2:5-8) as warnings for the last generation, when the Lord had likewise used both of them together (Lk. 17:26-32). Another unconscious allusion would be the way in which he describes the Angels Ďlooking intoí the blood of Christ with the same word which described Peter looking into the tomb (Jn. 20:5,11; Lk. 24:12). Or when he told the messengers: ďI am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?Ē (Acts 10:21). This is full of allusion to the Lord in Gethsemane (Mt. 26:56; Jn. 18:4-6). There is perhaps no exact sense in the allusions; but they reflect the fact that the experience of the Lordís death and resurrection so indelibly impressed Peter that he reflected it both consciously and unconsciously. Likewise with us- even our body language should reflect our experience of such great salvation in so great a Saviour. In Acts 12:17 the same Greek words are used by Peter as by the Lord: ďGo shew these thingsÖto the brethrenĒ. Peter felt that his deliverance from prison was like the Lordís resurrection, and perhaps unconsciously he used the Lordís words to Mary Magdalene. Peter then went ďto another placeĒ just as the Lord did on saying those words. He saw that his life was a living out of fellowship with the Lordís mortal experiences, every bit as much as our lives are too. 

Peterís last words in 2 Pet. are full of the theme of knowing Christ (1:2,3,5,8; 2:20). Finally, He came to really know the man whom he thought he once knew. His very last recorded words urge us all to follow his pattern: to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour (3:18). He wrote this with awareness that he had denied the knowledge of the Lord; his very last words reflected his sense of inadequacy and shame at his failures, and yet the sure and certain knowledge that he knew the grace of the Saviour whom he believed.

 


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