And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. (Matthew 17:4-6)
Peter just can’t seem to get out of his own way. You’d think that after he was so sternly rebuked by Jesus at the end of chapter 16, he would have learned to just keep his mouth shut. But here he is, six days later, sticking his foot in his mouth again.
I guess to be fair to Peter, I should mention that there does seem to be at least some disagreement among commentators as to what Peter’s intentions were, what he was thinking, and whether it was something negative. I’m pretty convinced, however, that this is another instance of Peter just not getting it. Continue reading Getting a Glimpse of Glory
Before we begin with today’s passage, I want to review the 3 historical interpretations of Matthew 16:18:
Jesus builds the church upon the rock of Peter whose nickname means “rock.”
Jesus builds the church upon Himself, the ultimate Rock which Peter the little rock correctly identifies.
Jesus builds the church upon the confession of Peter, the little rock correctly identifying the big Rock and thus serving as the model for all future believers who are built upon Jesus.
Today’s passage seems to allow all 3 of these interpretations to be incorporated into a correct understanding of Matthew 16:18. That’s not to say that one interpretation (mainly number 2, that the Church is built on Jesus Christ) isn’t more correct, but rather the other two shouldn’t just be outright rejected without trying to understand how they fit into the founding of the Church. Continue reading The Building of the Church
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:28-31)
I confess: I have no idea what was running through Peter’s mind when he told Jesus to command him to walk on the water. In Matthew 14:26 we saw that the disciples were afraid because they thought Jesus was a ghost or evil spirit come to harm them. If that was the case, wouldn’t the spirit have just commanded Peter to walk on the water so he would plummet to his death? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Of course, considering how impetuous Peter could be, it might not have made any sense to him either. Continue reading Taking Risks of Faith