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
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.