Tag Archives: cnvrstns

John 21:15 – 25: Reinstating Peter

Conversations is starting a series on the life of Peter after Jesus’ death and over the next few months we’ll be exploring that.

Peter’s story begins on his home turf. Jesus arrives in a fishing village, he teaches, he meets some of the fishermen. They recognise him as the real deal. They follow.

This group of men includes the sons of Zebedee: James and John as well as another sibling pair – Andrew and Simon. At some point Simon’s becomes known as Peter. This change gains significance in Matthew 16 when Jesus asks his disciples ‘who do people say the Son of Man is?’. Peter gives the Sunday School gold star response: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ and Jesus is delighted with Peter and says ‘On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it’. Simon’s name having become Peter is significant because Cephas/Petros means rock so Jesus is saying – ‘On this Peter I will build my church…’

So Peter is held in high regard by Jesus – he is also always mentioned first in the lists of the Twelve Apostles; he is present at more exclusive events such as the Transfiguration of Jesus; and he joins Jesus in walking on the water. John’s gospel gives Peter prominence – at the last supper he’s reluctant for Jesus to wash his feet and later names Peter as the disciple who cut off an ear when Jesus was arrested.

But the lowest point of Peter’s life (before Jesus’ death) is the denial. All four gospels detail how Peter was to deny Jesus three times before the cock crows. Continue reading John 21:15 – 25: Reinstating Peter

1 John:4 – Love Wins

1 John is a book that sets out some of the most fundamental characteristics of who God is and what being a Christian, part of His family, looks like.

And John’s quite blunt really. He sets it out quite clearly that God is holy, we are sinful and Jesus is our only hope.

Then he says that if you say you keep God’s commands, and don’t, then there’s a problem. And he says that if you’re more in love with the world than you are with God, then there’s a problem there too.

So we end up with an ideal of what we should be aiming for. John tells us about the need for right doctrines, right lifestyles and right relationships. It’s almost as though there’s something of a tick box exercise happening – tick all the boxes and well be called children of God and we’ll be like Him. If we live in Him then we won’t sin any more because Jesus has destroyed the work of the devil. So we should love one another and when we do that we know we’ve qualified for eternal life.

Sounds straightforward – the Eye-Spy of Christianity. An easy reference guide against which we can mark ourselves and score those around us.

Thankfully God isn’t sitting on a cloud waiting to smite us for cocking up but is desperate for a relationship with us that isn’t about legalism and transactionality. Continue reading 1 John:4 – Love Wins