Peter, what were you thinking?
APRIL 6, 2023
Oh Peter, what were you thinking? Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
The deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers, that’s what key life is all about. So, if you’re hungry for the hopeful truth that God isn’t mad at you, keep listening. Steve Brown is a professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew and Hi Matt. You know this is confusing for an old guy.
Matt Heard: It really is. You look confused.
You know you ought to change your name. If you’d change your name, this would be a lot easier for me. By the way, if you’re just joining us, that voice you heard was Matt Heard, as he’s one of the voices of Key Life and he also has a ministry called Thrive that is nothing less than amazing. You can find out about it and I’ve urged you to do that ThriveFullyAlive.com write it down and check it out. Thrive fully alive.com God is using Matt Heard in some very different ways in a lot of venues, and you want to know what God’s doing in the world. These, these are world changing kinds of things. And I stand in awe. So, go to that website. All right, we have been going through the chapters, the final teaching of Jesus in the Book of John as we move toward the Cross. And we’re now in that chapter, it’s the 18th chapter where Peter, I, you know, I can’t read this chapter without wincing. You know, Peter’s, Jesus already told him he’s gonna do this three times, and you read about it in this chapter, and then you read, they bring Jesus through the courtyard, right when Peter was cussing. And Peter looked up and he saw and said to himself, he saw, he saw. And can you imagine, can you imagine denying Jesus three times? Boy, the rest of the story’s a good story and we’re not going to get into it in this broadcast, but Peter shines, but he shines after he had fallen and couldn’t get up. That’s where Jesus finds all of us. So, what do you think, I mean, what would, you know, I want to say not me, I wouldn’t have done that, but then I remember that’s exactly what Peter said. So, I’ve got to be careful here, but I just can’t imagine doing that and what got into him?
Matt Heard: You know, it is, Peter, you look throughout, if there’s one disciple as you’re going through the gospels who was bombastic and confident, you know, it’s Peter. You know, he, he made those statements like, lord, I’m ready, in Luke 22, I’m ready to go with you to prison and to death. And in Mark 14, he says, even if all fall away, I will not. And wow. Paul talks about it saying, when you’re standing firm, that’s when you need to be a little careful. When we get overconfident in ourselves. And I think it’s that whole notion of me thinking that as Jesus and I are, have this hold of one another, it’s more important, I’m holding onto him and forgetting that he’s holding onto me. And, take care, lest you who are too confident.
Yeah. When you’re standing, unless you fall, pride does go for a fall. You know, Jesus has a lot to say about self-righteousness, which is nothing more than what you’re talking about. And, he hates self-righteousness. Read Matthew 23, that’s a scary thing.
Matt Heard: Yeah. You don’t see that on anybody’s refrigerators, Matthew 23.
Nor should you read it just before you go to bed at night. But it’s very harsh. But it’s not because it’s nasty to be self-righteous, it’s because he loves you. And because of just what you said, grace runs down the hill. And Jesus looks at Peter when he says, they’re going to mess it up, but I won’t cause I’m your man. And Jesus said, oh, Peter, you don’t, remember when they were, he was washing their feet. And Peter said, you ain’t doing that to me. And Jesus said, oh, you don’t understand. So, okay, we got self-righteousness, self-confidence in oneself, and that leads to some really bad stuff. You’ve got some others there, I’ll bet you, if you think about it.
Matt Heard: You know, you do, one fascinating play here. We’re encouraging all of our listeners, if you guys would, you know, be reading a chapter a day during this Holy Week. And, you know, we started on Monday with chapter 15, 16, 17. Now, we’re in 18. But you read chapter 18, this whole journey of Peter and denying Jesus and have that in one Bible and then pull out Peter’s Epistle. And you’re looking at the same Peter, but he’s not the same Peter because, you know, he learned, and I was kind of thumbing through, and this is one that’s fascinating. When you juxtapose those two in I Peter 5, you start reading verse eight. It says, be alert and of sober mind. Remember, this is the same Peter who denied Jesus by the fire. Now, he’s exhorting us as his fellow followers to say.
Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone
not to trip up, not for to trip
Resist him standing firm in the faith because you know that the family believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And he says.
In the God of all grace.
I don’t think there’s any way that the ink on his quill put to parchment isn’t mingled with his tears as he’s reflecting.
Matt Heard: You know, Peter of all people knew the taste of grace, he says.
The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ. After you’ve suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong and firm and steadfast.
And I see that, and I think part of what Peter, the old Peter as an old man is saying, I was naïve regarding the enemy. I thought I was strong enough on my own. And I think that’s another thing that causes us to wander is we’re not just too self confident. We’re too naïve about what the enemy is up to.
Trying to destroy, devour. That’s a pretty scary thing.
Matt Heard: It is.
And you know, we live in a culture that poo poos this, you know, they say, oh, that went out with my grandfather’s spats. And Satan loves it when we say that.
Matt Heard: Yeah. The two extremes either he doesn’t exist or we become fixated.
Matt Heard: And he loves that too.
C.S. Lewis said that in his book about slew foot, about Satan and it’s so true, but if we error in our time, it’s in thinking that’s not, no, I’m not going there. I don’t need that sort of thing. And then Satan devours you.
Matt Heard: Yeah. I think if we’re taking time during this powerful week that is referred to as Holy Week and today and throughout history has been called Maundy Thursday, it’s gearing up. Some might even attend Maundy Thursday services for, it’s quieting our heart. And Peter is a good tutor to help us quiet our hearts regarding our need. And yes, his self-confidence, his naivete. I think another thing where I can get reset during Holy Week by letting Peter tutor me in the mistakes he made, is Peter was so fearful of the people around him. And he let the opinions of the people around him, be more powerful than Jesus in terms of dictating his behavior. Remember, he is by the fire, and you can read it in this passage, and he’s quaking, just a little servant girl is accusing him. And too often we get so fearful horizontally of what people think, that we forget that vertical relationship with Jesus.
And you know, that’s particularly wise in our culture, a canceled culture. We so much want to hang out with the cool kids. We don’t want to say anything that would offend and truth often does offend. And Peter is an example of somebody who was afraid he was going to be canceled.
Matt Heard: Mm-hmm. Yep. That’s such a good point because we’re always caring about, and we, it’s almost like we view Jesus’ perspective of us through the people around us. I remember, instead of the other way around long ago, you’ll remember because, you know, you’re old. And so, do you remember Dr. Allen Redpath?
I do. I do.
Matt Heard: He kind of took me under his wing when I was studying in England long ago, and I will never forget. His voice is deep as yours, but he had a much nicer accent than you’ve got but he said, Matt, don’t ever forget that if you’re pleasing God, it doesn’t matter who you’re displeasing, but if you’re displeasing God, it doesn’t matter who you’re pleasing.
Matt Heard: It’s always stuck with me of, okay, let’s make sure that, and that’s what Peter had to learn there. As I’m looking at that and thinking of our readers going through him, don’t, don’t fly past that fact that Peter kept warming himself by the fire. And so often, we want to be comfortable and
Oh, don’t we, and so make it your prayer this week. Not, Lord, don’t let me be like Peter, but Lord, I am Peter. I’m afraid too. And sometimes I want to be accepted and loved and praised. Sometimes I see myself in him. Forgive me and change me. You think about that Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown and our friend Matt Heard from ThriveFullyAlive.com today we touched on what has to be Peter’s lowest moment, so painful. And yet not the end of the story, not by a long shot. Steve and Matt will be back tomorrow to wrap up our exploration of the Gospel of John, sure hope you’ll join us for that. So, we talked about Peter today, but I want to draw your attention to two other characters from Jesus’ life, Mary and Martha. You probably know their story as outlined in Luke 10, Mary, who sat at Jesus feet. And Martha, who stayed busy. It’s a timely lesson for us today. What do you do when you’re so busy, you can’t just sit still? Well, Steve spoke about this and a sermon called When the Noise Is Too Loud. If you struggle with busyness, I know it’s going to help you. Get that talk on CD for free by calling us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact for our mailing addresses. Just ask for your free copy of the CD called When the Noise Is Too Loud. Finally a question, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? Giving could not be easier. You just charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or join the growing number of folks who give by text. Just text Key Life to 28950 and then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.