So, I follow this gal Stacey Thacker on Facebook, and she posted a link to a Bible Study/reading plan from She Reads Truth. Now I’ve heard about this group and started a reading plan a couple of times via bible.com (I still think of it as YouVersion). But for some reason I haven’t ever finished one.
So, after seeing Stacey Thacker’s post and knowing she’ll probably be giving the occasional update, I’m taking another stab at it and doing the reading plan through the She Reads Truth (SRT) website directly. Not exactly “on the ball” with preparing for this, but I’m going to “give it a go” and post my reflections from the daily readings.
Day 1 Verses ~
“This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
May God give you more and more grace and peace.” ~1 Peter 1:1-2
The SRT website had a link for the daily Scriptures which took me to biblia.com and I noticed on the side notes it stated that the provinces mentioned above – Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia – are modern day Turkey. That’s one of the reasons I like studying with other groups who have the research available, is learning what the modern day city would be in these Scriptures. It’s so easy to feel blasé when reading about these ancient cities because the names we read no longer exist. For me, it makes these letters more real to imagine the area today where they take place.
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” 15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” ~ Matthew 16:13-19
This verse is when Simon has him name changed to Peter. It was interesting to read why he was blessed. It appears (to my initial reading/understanding) that he was blessed because his faith that Jesus was the Messiah was based solely on his own findings and revelations. He “did not learn this from any human being”. Perhaps it was more real to him to find this truth on his own, rather than other people presenting evidence and him taking them for their word.
35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). 42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”) ~ John 1:35-42
We can see the connection between the last two verses in this passage and the previous passage. Peter’s brother Andrew brought Peter to Christ, that’s the introduction. But he didn’t give an expansive testimony as to why he believed Christ was the Son of God or present evidence as to why Jesus was who He said He was, he just said “We have found the Messiah” and brought Peter to see for himself. He didn’t have to be convinced that this was reality, or even a possibility and to keep his mind open. It was a direct, one-on-one, revelation.
36 Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”37 “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.” 38 Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me. ~ John 13:36-38
This is probably one of the more famous Scriptures regarding Peter. This is where we learn Peter is going to deny Christ after He is arrested. It’s easy for us to remember this one, because we see Peter’s flaws, his lack of perfection. He was called blessed by Christ, but he denied Christ, which many might view as the ultimate betrayal he could commit. But it’s vital that we don’t view this single act as the definition of Peter. This was our proof that even though he was blessed, he was still human and flawed. He still made mistakes, but that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t do great things for the glory of Christ.
And so, these are my thoughts after the short readings for today. Rather than looking at Peter as an example of how mistakes are inevitable, perhaps we should look at Peter as an example of how we are beautifully flawed.