The Jesus Peter Knew
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I have met a few people who have an image of Jesus in their minds, not based on Scripture, but on speculation. As a child I became interested in futball (soccer for U.S.A readers) and mentioned to my family that the game is so old Jesus may have played a form of futbal as a child. A matriarch in my family told me there was no way Jesus would ever play a game. I asked her why she said that. She said, “Jesus would never do anything to dishonor His Father!” I left it at that, but always wondered why she thought kicking a ball around with friends would be dishonoring to His Father? Her picture of Jesus was not based on Scripture, but on her imagination.

Some have an imaginary Jesus in their minds, nothing like the Jesus Peter knew. Some believe Jesus found doing the right thing quite easy since He was, after all, God. In their imagination perfection came easy for Him. It was no sweat. Really?

Luke told Theophilus that Peter was only about a stone’s throw away from Jesus, when, 

And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became

like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:44 NKJV

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I don’t know if Gethsemane was a state park or not, but it was no walk in the park for the Son of God. There was nothing easy about His victory. He didn’t go back to heaven and tell the angels it was no sweat. He sweat drops of blood! Peter would not be familiar with the Jesus that many imagine in their heads. So when we go the throne of grace in Hebrews 4:15-16, we see that our high priest is touched with our human weakness as His victory came with sweat and tears! Later in Hebrews Paul tells us,

You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. Hebrews 12:4 NKJV

Paul is referring to Jesus sweating drops of blood to get His victory over self and sin.

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40-41 NKJV

Jesus showed and told Peter that he too must pray in order to overcome temptation. He acknowledged that Peter had a willing attitude, but his flesh was weak and needed to be strengthened through prayer. After vehemently promising to never deny Jesus, weary Peter would fall asleep again. And he ended up denying Jesus three times that -night. Did the Jesus Peter knew disown him?

How careful is the Lord Jesus to give no occasion for a soul to despair. How He fences about the soul from Satan’s fierce attacks. If through manifold temptations we are surprised or deceived into sin, He does not turn from us and leave us to perish. No, no, that is not our Saviour….-Ellen White, Our High Calling, Page 49

The Jesus Peter knew didn’t want Peter to despair, so at the resurrection the angel gave this message.

But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” Mark 16:7 NKJV

The Jesus Peter knew was the real Savior and did not want Peter to despair! He made sure Peter knew he was included even after failing three times in one night! The Jesus Peter found and fell in love with was perfect and yet so forgiving of others. Peter tells us how we can become like the Jesus he knew.

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV 

Peter learned really quickly not to make his own promises any more, but, instead, to trust in Jesus’ exceedingly great and precious promises. While Jesus took on our humanity, Peter invites us to partake of Jesus’ divine nature. I have heard many arguments over just how human Jesus was. We saw in Gethsemane just how human He was, but Peter makes the debate of Jesus’ humanity unnecessary, when he tells us we can participate in Jesus’ divine nature, escaping the corruption in the world.

The Jesus Peter knew had to sweat to overcome. He sympathized with Peter’s struggles and weaknesses. He forgave Peter. When Peter’s promises failed, Jesus promised to share His divine nature with Peter so he too could overcome the corruption in the world. Peter has invited us to have faith in the same Jesus he had faith in.

To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:1 NKJV

Amen!(29)

Comments

The Jesus Peter Knew — 27 Comments

  1. Thanks ever so much for yet another powerful and timely message of hope and comfort. Oh how grateful l am that the beautiful Saviour our Lord JESUS CHRIST though 'holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;...' did not separate Himself from us and abandon us to our just fate, but instead identified with us. Heb 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.

    Amen!(24)
  2. Beautifully said! I only have two little quibbles. Football shouldn't be that hard to spell. LOL

    And those arguments were probably about how sinful Jesus was (His human nature was and is perfectly sinless), not how human He was.

    Amen!(1)
      • Faith, you make me smile. I think that English is also spoken outside of North America, which to the best of my knowledge is the only place on Earth where football and soccer are two different sports.

        I love what William said about our privilege of partaking of the divine nature. We needn't try to bring Jesus down to our level when He is willing and able to bring us up to His, insofar as our finite limitations will permit. "Predestined" is strong language, and yet the only Bible predestination I can find says that, if we stay with Jesus, our eventual likeness to Him is absolutely guaranteed. How gracious of Him!

        Amen!(2)
  3. Thank you so much William for again, touching my heart with your message. Jesus did love and forgive Peter; even when Peter likely felt past forgiveness. And yet Jesus's message through the angel...tell Peter. Peter's heart must have thrilled to hear those life changing words. Forgiveness, love, hope, all in that brief message.
    Forgiven; not forgotten or forsaken. How often we feel unforgiveable and yet can turn to Jesus and find His invitation, Come to Me. Find rest.
    That was the Jesus Peter knew and that same Jesus is waiting to forgive us.
    What an amazing Savior we serve. Praise The Lord!

    Amen!(8)
  4. William, your picture of Jesus is described well and encouraging. I have often wondered if we have any concept of the Heavenly members. We often compare everything from a human standpoint. What we read in Scripture gives us the most information about Jesus as well as the Disciples that were closest to Him. The text that says to study thy self to shew approved, is timely. 2Timothy 2:15

    Amen!(3)
    • Paul, I endorse the content of your post but was struck by the irony of our humanity. While God's revelations in Scripture are critical to us living acceptably before Him (Mt 22:29; 1 Pt 2:2; 2 Pt 1:19), we're not saved by it (Jn 5:39-40). As you observantly pointed out, it is our fallen humanity that constantly gets in the way! It gets in God's way (Jn 8:43), in Scripture's (2 Pt 1:20), in religion's (Col 2:23) and sometimes even in what should be an enjoyable game of football/soccer!
      I thank God for bringing me into a community in active recognition that it is OUR FALLEN HUMANITY that MUST GO, and for members like William who'll actually keep our eyes focused on the goal (pun intended😊) (2 Pt 1:3-4; Jer 17:9-10; Act 15:8-9).

      Amen!(3)
  5. Dear Elder Earnhardt,

    I thank you for a message of encouragement and also thank the sisters and brothers who have replied to your post. Indeed, the Lord's sympathy for my struggles and weaknesses, and his forgiveness are my only hope of salvation.
    Yet, it is your introduction (about having met people "who have an image of Jesus in their minds, not based on Scripture, but on speculation") that led me into deep thoughts. I have got to say it: quite often, I fall in the same category as the matriarch of your family. Or, even worse, quite often, my understanding of Jesus is sometimes clouded, unclear, blurry along the edges.
    After about forty years as a Christian, the certainties of my teens have been gradually replaced by an archipelago of inner questioning. How accurate is my knowledge of God/Jesus, how close to THE TRUTH? How nuanced is it by my culture, my privileges or lack thereof,my political or social views? From liberal to the conservative theology, the same verse may be interpreted in very different ways.
    Would he have proposed a safety net for the poor and encouraged people to feel "entitled", or adopted an economy that favors the rich? Would he be a "pro-poor theologian", a "liberation theologian", one of the "Claim It" prosperity theologians? Please note that I have espoused one or more of these theologies during my lifetime.
    In other words, how many "Jesuses" are there, as every theological generation and political interest group seem to have redefined the image of Jesus to match their political, economic and social views. Is it possible that each of us has his/her own version of Jesus, like the matriarch of your family? My greatest challenge has been to recognize that risk in me and to ask the Lord to nudge me ever closer to the image that He wants to reproduce in me as a bridge builder, a royal priest.
    For you and me, "I pray that, being rooted and established in love, we may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3: 17-19)

    Amen!(7)
  6. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. How many Jesuses are there? The same Jesus who was conservative towards Himself, fasting in the wilderness,is the same Jesus who was liberal towards others when He fed the miltitude. The same Jesus that was traditional in going to the synagogue on Sabbath, was also progressive when He healed on the Sabbath.

    Amen!(8)
  7. me too i don't believe if JESUS could have played futball,because the game it self is full of reckless attacks,abusive language,and some extent of fighting especially in childhood,and all these could dishonor His FATHER

    Amen!(0)
    • Couldn't we say the same thing about life? It's how you live life that makes the difference.

      And it's how you play the game that makes the difference. If Jesus had played football with a bunch of friends, how would he have played?
      Certainly He would not have engaged in "reckless attacks, abusive language and fighting."
      Isn't it possible to play such a game in a friendly spirit, all in good humor and for the sake of getting some good exercise?

      Amen!(2)
      • Exactly Inge. I golf with a pastor friend, who is an excellent golfer, but instead of trying to win all the time, he tries to help me do better with my game. That is a very Christlike way to play a game and live life.

        Amen!(2)
      • Inge, you said it!("Couldn't we say the same thing about life? It's how you live life that makes the difference"). That's why I think that William's post should stimulate an honest discussion about human thoughts/concepts of our Creator and, really, everything.
        Christians are in ever-present danger of becoming tunnel-visioned or inflexible in our opinions regarding God-approved living, that we can become cynical and disillusioned to the point of despair or unfruitfulness (Mt 13:22; 2 Pt 1:8). As Christians we may have the luxury of choosing some things in our lives, like sports, but not so much with others. We don't get to choose who our offsprings, relatives, neighbors and coworkers are. Edo's description ("the game it self is full of reckless attacks,abusive language,and some extent of fighting") of the atmosphere of football/soccer games could sometimes apply to our commute to work, our time at work and, unfortunately, our time in church and at home! Sometimes resulting in despair, manifested in harshness (Mt 24:48-49) and/or withdrawal (1 Cor 5:10).

        HOW did Jesus please His Father? More than ever, God's professed people stand in dire need of the same essential element that was the key to the successful life of "the Son of the living God" (Mt 16:16; Jn 3:5; Rm 8:9; 9:26; Jn 14:26)! He is waiting for us to be His witnesses here (James 5:7; Col 3:10-11).

        Amen!(1)
        • Yes, Lynrol, it's so easy to point out un-Christlike behavior, while at the same time, our actions may be equally unlike Jesus. As you suggest, this can happen at home, at church, and in business. All situations provide opportunity to make choices - either to let the Holy Spirit direct us or to let our own selfish nature direct us.

          As several people pointed out, futball, as played professionally, is not an example of Christ-like behavior. But that doesn't demonstrate that it isn't possible to play the game in a friendly way, with the aim of building relationships. No matter what we do, we can choose to be Spirit-led or self-led. Jesus continually chose to be Spirit-led, and that made all the difference.

          Thank you for reminding us of last quarter's lessons - lessons which we should be putting into daily practice. 🙂

          Amen!(2)
  8. Often the image we form of people we meet and think we know well does not conform to what they actually are, and we do not realize this until some situation comes along where we get a glimpse of what they are really like that shatters our image in pieces. Is it any wonder that this happens with the God that we think we know? Our (mis)perception is conditioned by the way we think, and for this reason, we should be very suspicious of our surmising of how others would behave and who they are as a person, and even more so with God.

    In the gospels, we see again and again how the words and actions of Jesus upset and offended the religious. Yet the downtrodden, the undeserving and the “immoral” found relief and hope in his presence. Did Jesus have a sense of humour? Did he play games at social events? Did he tell stories that did not fit with the religious sensibilities of some of his very religious listeners? An honest reading of the Bible might give new impressions about the God of the universe. Humans have a propensity of making God in their image. I believe that God calls this idolatry. As religious folks, we should be very careful about keeping commandments and have faith in Jesus. [Revelation 14:12]

    Amen!(2)
  9. For anyone who has watched or played "futball", the answer to the question of whether Jesus would have played should be rather clear if scripture is indeed of God and if Jesus lived by "every word" as He claimed He did.

    I believe the Matriarch was correct concerning Jesus being anything but "meek and lowly of heart" and her "imagination" is confirmed by the Word of God isn't it? Doesn't mean he would have never kicked a ball, but for what purpose? His life as recorded in scripture tells me He would never be found on a team playing for glory by showing mastery over others.

    Amen!(0)
    • Thanks Robert for allowing me to clarify. I totally agree, and was only thinking at the time of my statement years ago, and now, that I imagined Jesus has may kicked a ball around with friends as a child and not that he played competitively for a regular team. Unfortunately some of those leagues can get pretty intense and the intensity is not for a positive purpose, much less to glorify God.

      Amen!(1)
    • It didn't even occur to me that William was suggesting that Jesus would play competitive soccer. What came to my mind was from my childhood in Germany - watching the church young people play various games of friendly ball - always with smiles and laughter and affection. I was too young to participate, but the memory is still a pleasant one, and, yes, I can imagine Jesus participating and then, after that little bit of exercise, sitting down to talk and sing - just as I remember it.

      Amen!(5)
    • Robert, a few years ago when "WWJD" (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets were all the rage in the US (perhaps some places outside as well), I often wondered if those wearing them understood the "how" behind what Jesus did. Take for example His teaching on marriage, was it a good thing ( Mt 19:4-6) or a bad thing (Mt 19:10-12)? Why doesn't Scripture record Him being married? Should we, being Christians, avoid marriage...become carpenters...have disciples etc.?
      Whether Jesus played football/soccer or not, marry or not, aren't the real issue, is it? Based on His teachings on marriage, apparently one could live unmarried, like Him, and still not be in the Father's will as He lived (Jn 8:29; see Mt 19:4-6 again). To know the Jesus that Peter knew is to come to an awareness that He (Jesus) was "the Son of the living God" (Mt 16:16), and Jesus revealed who motivated Peter's correct position (Mt 16:17). How did the Father drive His Son's EVERY decision? Well, He was born of the Spirit (Lk 1:35), and so must all other children (Jn 3:5). His title to Sonship, anointing (Act 10:38) and leading (Lk 4:1) is the essential criteria for all subsequent children (Rm 8:9; 9:26).
      More than just imagining the Jesus Peter Knew or imagining the answer to WWJD, His followers must receive "the Promise of the Father (Act 1:4-5; 15:8-9) which is through Jesus Christ (Jn 14:26). That's the "how" behind God-approved living.

      Amen!(3)
  10. Thank you allot for such powerful clarifications.I played football,the game seems to be competitive in nature,and that was my doubt.But for what you have said(mr.William,Whiteman and Inge),I understood and agree with you all.

    Amen!(0)
  11. I have to say Jesus put on humanity to show God's love for us. While we are not "Jesus", we...are striving as Christians to be like him. Do we play games and have fun with friends and family? I'm sure the answer is absolutely! Then, why wouldn't Jesus. We are taking the fun and joy out of jesus. Sure we play, sure we have fun but every thing has its place. Yes Jesus was always about his father's bussines, but I believe he also took time for friends and family.
    He played futball/football BUT...with whom? There's a saying where I'm from "show me your company and I'll tell you who you are".(he wouldn't be playing with people who curse.
    I'm striving to know the Jesus Peter knew and what I've learned so far is that he is loving, kind, giving, gracious......and yes he would kick ball with me.

    Amen!(3)
  12. Asante Sana william.May God bless you.Keep on helping understand the God's massege through simple explanation as you used to ellasturate daily here.

    Ninakupenda sana.

    Amen!(0)

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