|CU: Talks: 26/9/96||Back to the Past Talks listing|
Mark chapter 1 - Peter is called by Jesus. Johns gospel records that he had originally been introduced by Andrew. In Capernaum Jesus casts out a demon - His authority causes a stir in the area. Jesus then heals Peters mother-in-law. Large crowds gather to see Him. Jesus gets away from them - this doesnt make sense to Peter - why isnt Jesus healing them all?
The disciples thought they knew what Jesus should be doing. Peter was thinking as a member of the local community. He wasn't thinking like a disciple - we often think we are Gods' PR people, that we should present Him to others in our way. When God doesn't go with our way, doubt can begin to creep in. God doesn't dance to our tune!
We have to accept Gods will over our own.
What Peter had to learn was to keep his eyes on Jesus. Start to look at other things and we start to panic, things start to fall apart - we can be troubled by theology, Christian attitudes etc. and our faith starts to make less sense.
We have to keep our eyes on Jesus.
The "Who do men say that I am?" question. Peter is confident of His answer that Jesus is the 'Christ, the Son of God'. When Jesus explains what this means Peter takes him aside to correct Him. Peter doubts Jesus grasp on who He is. Jesus response is lethally strong: 'Get behind me, Satan'. He does something similar in response to his vision in Acts of the unclean animals he is told to eat. He is aware that the vision is from the Lord. Yet in both incidents Peter doubts that what God is saying is for real.
Peter ultimately realises that though he knows truth, he doesnt know all truth. His faithfulness to Scriptures prevents him from denying the vision. His inability to believe in resurrection prevents him from accepting Christs Word. We should not ever be arrogant about our views and our knowledge of truth. We should hold our views strongly but always be open to learn and be corrected. Our theology is not a suit of armour.
We have to recognise that we always have something more to learn.
Peter visited Paul and Barnabas in Antioch. Other people had arrived there to teach something else: that circumcision is necessary for salvation. Peter withdrew from the uncircumcised to eat only with the circumcised. He was effectively saying that the cross was not enough. You needed to be circumcised to be sure of salvation. It happened because of fear - doubting the sufficiency of the cross.
We have to trust in the all-sufficiency of the cross for our salvation.