Impetuous Peter! #7

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid (Mark 9:5,6 KJV).

When in doubt, close your mouth!

In the Upper Room in Jerusalem, the night of Jesus’ final Passover with His disciples, Peter uttered his sixth reckless statement. Chapter 13 of John: “[3] Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; [4] He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. [5] After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

“[6] Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? [7] Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. [8] Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. [9] Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. [10] Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. [11] For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. [14] If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. [15] For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. [16] Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.”

Demonstrating humility and servitude, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Nevertheless, Peter protested, “Thou shalt never wash my feet” (verse 8). Christ corrected him, to which Peter replied in verse 9, “Wash my feet, hands, and head!” Excuse the idiomatic pun, but Peter’s feet had been previously unavailable for washing because they were in his mouth….

Impetuous Peter! #6

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid (Mark 9:5,6 KJV).

When in doubt, close your mouth!

In Matthew 18:15-20, the Lord taught members of the Little Flock (Israel’s believing remnant) how to handle their offending each other. Peter is thus prompted to inquire in verse 21: “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” The Jewish rabbis of the day, appealing to Amos chapters 1 and 2, taught an erring brother was to be forgiven a maximum of three times. Hence, Peter assumed he was quite generous by suggesting seven—that is, doubling the rabbinical tradition and then adding one. Was this sensible of him? No, it was his fifth thoughtless utterance!

Christ’s response is verse 22: “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” The Lord chose “seventy times seven”—that is, 490 (and not, as modern English versions say, “seventy-seven”)—He was underscoring a famed Old Testament passage. Read Daniel 9:24-27. Here, we look at verse 24 only: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

God has reserved a period of 490 years—70 “weeks” (70 groups of “seven years”)—to cleanse Israel’s people of their sin problem. That time spans Nehemiah chapter 2 (circa 445 B.C.) to Christ’s Second Coming (Millennial Kingdom), excluding our Dispensation of Grace. Jesus’ reply to Peter was, “Until seventy times seven.” In light of Daniel, we can paraphrase Him: “Peter, you should forgive your Jewish neighbor to the extent I forgive your Jewish nation.” Remember, the schedule of Daniel 9:24 was operating when Jesus spoke those words to Peter! Peter should have remembered the prophetic timeline governing the Lord’s dealings with His people….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is there an historical mistake in Luke 2:1-2?

Impetuous Peter! #5

Monday, February 22, 2021

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid (Mark 9:5,6 KJV).

When in doubt, close your mouth!

The Transfiguration is recorded in Matthew 16:28–17:13, Mark 9:1-13, and Luke 9:27-36. Read from Mark, including today’s Scripture: “[1] And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. [2] And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. [3] And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

[4] And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. [5] And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. [6] For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. [7] And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. [8] And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.”

It is the Feast of Tabernacles, late September or early October (cf. Leviticus 23:33-44). Situated in a glimpse of Christ’s glorious millennial kingdom, both Moses (the Law of Moses) and Elijah (the Prophets) foretold His death. Peter expected Moses and Elijah to remain there with them. Not applying wisdom (Mark 9:6, “he wist not what to say;” Luke 9:33, “not knowing what he said”), Peter exclaimed, “We should make booths or shelters for all three—Jesus, Moses, and Elijah!” Offended, Father God suddenly interrupted Peter’s fourth careless outburst with, “Listen to My beloved Son!” Jesus alone remains, His fulfilling the Law and the Prophets causing Moses and Elijah to vanish. Here, Peter had been impetuous and idolatrous….

Impetuous Peter! #4

Sunday, February 21, 2021

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid (Mark 9:5,6 KJV).

When in doubt, close your mouth!

Near the end of His earthly ministry, Christ revealed some startling news to His disciples. Both Matthew and Mark report the third time Peter swiftly spoke foolish words. Read Matthew 16:21-23: “[21] From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. [22] Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. [23] But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

Mark 8:31-33 is the parallel passage: “[31] And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. [32] And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. [33] But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”

Upon hearing Jesus speak of His impeding mistreatment and murder, Peter began to criticize and challenge the Lord’s statement: “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee” (Matthew 16:22). That is, “Lord, God be gracious in not letting that happen to Thee!” Jesus replied, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” Peter, inadvertently serving as Satan’s spokesperson, outright denied Christ would die. Christ thus reprimanded him! Instead of believing God’s words, Peter was “savouring” (thinking) like a lost man….

Impetuous Peter! #3

Saturday, February 20, 2021

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid (Mark 9:5,6 KJV).

When in doubt, close your mouth!

For Peter’s second hasty statement, consider Matthew chapter 14: “[24] But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. [25] And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. [26] And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. [27] But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

“[28] And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. [29] And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. [30] But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. [31] And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? [32] And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. [33] Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

Christ had been delayed in meeting them (cf. verses 22,23), but He eventually walked out onto the Sea of Galilee. Representative of all the disciples in the boat, Peter was not expecting Him, so he blurted out the conditional statement, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water” (verse 28). Christ gave Peter permission to walk on the water too. Howbeit, as Peter strolled, he looked around at his dangerous circumstances (violent wind)—and, as doubt and fear overcame him, he began to sink (verse 30)! Quick to say he would walk to the Lord, the dear Apostle, when afforded the opportunity, was distracted and literally fell. Thankfully, Jesus grabbed him before he drowned….

Bible Q&A #810: “What is Paul’s ‘lie’ in Romans 3:7?

Impetuous Peter! #2

Friday, February 19, 2021

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid (Mark 9:5,6 KJV).

When in doubt, close your mouth!

Fisherman Simon Peter, a convert of John the Baptist, first met the Lord Jesus along the Jordan River just north of the Dead Sea (John 1:40-42). Later, Simon was with his business associates, James and John sons of Zebedee, up north on the Sea of Galilee. Luke chapter 5 continues: “[4] Now when he [Christ] had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. [5] And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

“[6] And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. [7] And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. [8] When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. [9] For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: [10] And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. [11] And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”

Peter whined they had returned emptyhanded after fishing the entire night (verse 5). He was therefore hesitant when Jesus ordered him to let down his nets to catch fish. Upon seizing many fish, however, he knelt before the Lord, confessing, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (verse 8). Peter voiced his regret, as if to say, “I should not have doubted Thee!” Luke 5:5 was just the first of several times Simon Peter articulated a poor choice of words….

Impetuous Peter! #1

Thursday, February 18, 2021

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid (Mark 9:5,6 KJV).

When in doubt, close your mouth!

Proverbs issues guidance regarding the utterance of thoughtless speech. “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction” (13:3). This man protects his life by guarding his tongue. He knows loquaciousness—talkativeness—can be injurious. “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things” (15:28). A saint will think about what he says before he says it; the unbeliever, lacking self-control, gushes out sinful words.

“The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips” (16:23). The wise man trains his mouth so it opens to speak appropriate words but closes before uttering anything else. “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles” (21:23). Again, someone who chatters haphazardly has opened himself up to a host of problems. “If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth” (30:32). If we have a corrupt idea, we should remain silent!

God’s Word, the Holy Bible, is a record of His dealings with mankind. He does not hesitate to be candid about the nature of man. The Scriptures are honest—even concerning the “heroes” of the faith. Except the Lord Jesus Himself, every man in that Book had his weaknesses. We now focus on Peter, Israel’s leading Apostle. Like many of us at times, he was quick-tongued: Peter spoke first and thought later. As far as Holy Writ is concerned, he would often, most embarrassingly, have to repeal those words he had so quickly uttered. “Oh, wait, I should not have said that!” If we study the Scriptures, we can pick out a dozen instances of poor Peter blurting out mindless or inappropriate statements. By reading his lips, we can learn how to be careful with ours….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How can the Bible call Herod Antipas a ‘king?’

Who Will Go? #2

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8 KJV).

May we agree with the Prophet Isaiah!

Remember Moses’ call to the ministry in Exodus chapter 3, when God appeared to him in the burning bush: “[10] Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. [11] And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? [12] And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” After many excuses and much persuasion, Moses finally serves as God’s spokesman to Pharaoh. The LORD gave Moses a job to do… and He fully equipped him to do it!

Apostles Peter, Andrew, James, and John were called to the ministry in Matthew chapter 4: “[18] And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. [19] And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. [20] And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. [21] And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. [22] And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.” The Greek word rendered “apostle” is “apostolos”—“sent one.” Here is their commission in Matthew 10:5-7: “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Let us see how others respond to the ministry call in Scripture….

Bible Q&A #745: “What about the ‘wrath and doubting’ of 1 Timothy 2:8?

The Inner Three

Saturday, May 2, 2020

And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James (Mark 5:37 KJV).

Behold, the inner three Apostles of Israel—Peter, James, and John!

The Scriptures group Peter, James, and John on three occasions:

  1. As touching Jesus transforming on the Mount of Transfiguration: “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,…” (Matthew 17:1). “And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them” (Mark 9:2). They were the only Apostles to see a preview of Jesus Christ’s glory to be demonstrated at His Second Coming.
  2. In regards to Christ raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead: “And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James (today’s Scripture). “And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden” (Luke 8:51). They were the only Apostles to witness a preview of the nation Israel’s resurrection, to take place at Christ’s Second Coming.
  3. As touching Jesus praying just prior to His arrest in Gethsemane: “And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;…” (Mark 14:33). They were the only Apostles to see Christ agonizing in prayer leading up to His death.

Interestingly, they were the only three Apostles to whom Jesus gave nicknames. According to John 1:42, Simon was renamed “Cephas” (“stone”) or “Peter” (Mark 3:16). Mark 3:17 says brothers James and John were renamed “Boanerges” (“the sons of thunder”). Peter was the head Apostle, as per Matthew 16:19: “And I will give unto thee [“you” singular] the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou [“you” singular] shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou [“you” singular] shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Thus, he was often the 12 Apostles’ spokesman. James and John were likened unto God’s voice, thunder a picture of His Word going forth (2 Samuel 22:14; Job 37:4,5; Job 40:9; Psalm 29:3; Psalm 104:7).

A Better Baptism #8

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

Today’s Scripture speaks of a “baptism” that almost no one mentions or understands. All we hear about is water baptism in “Christian” circles—the erroneous idea that the word “baptism” in Scripture always refers to water. Unfortunately, another problem is that most individuals assume water baptism must always be immersion. A lot of the confusion stems from a failure to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Unless we approach the Bible dispensationally, friends, we will not have hope in understanding baptism or any other Scriptural theme. Two simple passages that outline the dispensational layout of Scripture are Acts 3:19-21 and Romans 16:25,26.

The Apostle Peter preached in Acts chapter 3: “[19] Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. [20] And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: [21] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

Compare that to what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans chapter 16: “[25] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, [26] But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:….”

Paul’s ministry discloses material that God had kept secret while He was revealing information to Peter. When Paul wrote today’s Scripture, he was focusing on something other than Israel’s prophetic program and kingdom water baptism. We do not try to harmonize Peter and Paul, making all their teachings the same. There is a “baptism” unique to Paul’s ministry, and it is not (!) water baptism….