Jesus' belief in Peter

Posted Jun 10, 2021

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Daily Scripture

Matthew 14:22-33

22 Right then, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake while he dismissed the crowds. 23 When he sent them away, he went up onto a mountain by himself to pray. Evening came and he was alone. 24 Meanwhile, the boat, fighting a strong headwind, was being battered by the waves and was already far away from land. 25 Very early in the morning he came to his disciples, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” They were so frightened they screamed.

27 Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.”

28 Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.”

29 And Jesus said, “Come.”

Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!”

31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind settled down.

33 Then those in the boat worshipped Jesus and said, “You must be God’s Son!”

Matthew 16:15-18

15 He said, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Then Jesus replied, “Happy are you, Simon son of Jonah, because no human has shown this to you. Rather my Father who is in heaven has shown you. 18 I tell you that you are Peter [Peter means rock]. And I’ll build my church on this rock. The gates of the underworld won’t be able to stand against it.

Reflection Questions

Ian needed to hear his brother say, “You can do this. I believe in you.” * Peter showed faith on a stormy lake: “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come,” and next thing he knew, he was striding on the water! It worked—until the wind upset him and fear took over. Jesus also showed faith in Peter in Matthew 16, or rather faith in Peter’s faith. “Peter may be a rock in his role of confessing Christ (v. 16), he becomes a stumbling block in his role of resisting the meaning of that confession, namely, Jesus’ calling to the cross (Matthew 16:22–23).” **

  • Seeing Jesus walking on the lake terrified the disciples. Their own lack of power was frightening, but the idea of a power beyond their imagining was more so. Do you ever find the idea of God actually “showing up” a bit scary? In what ways does Jesus’ divine power reach beyond our usual human ideas? What helps you trust that he always uses his power in ways that are good for you?
  • Christians have split in the past in their understanding of whether some human leader today is God’s chosen “successor” to Peter or not. Scholar A. F. Walls’ comment seems to fit the Matthew 16:18 text: “It refers to the foundation of the church, which cannot be repeated.” * Maybe the more vital questions are in what ways was Peter’s role uniquely foundational? And in what ways are you (and all Christians) Peter’s heirs in bearing witness to Jesus as the Christ?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, at times I’m riding high, walking toward you in faith! At times in fear I take my eyes off you. Teach me your love and salvation are always in reach, even when I feel as though I’m sinking. Amen.


* Onward quote from https://lolalambchops.com/

** Zondervan, NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Locations 220158-220160). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

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Jami Felver

Jami Felver

Jami has served on the Guest Connections team since 2015. She is passionate about connecting people to the life of the church. A simple invitation to Alpha from a co-worker years ago introduced her to Jesus and changed her life. She loves welcoming people and helping them get connected into our church family.

In Matthew 16:15-16, Jesus asks Simon Peter the following question, “And what about you? Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Peter was saying, “I know who you are. You are the Messiah, the living Christ, sent to save us. You are the Son of God from heaven.” It is a simple answer that contains everything necessary to begin the walk of the Christian life. In fact, it can be said that without that understanding, you are not yet a follower of Christ. Peter was the first person in human history ever to say it out loud, even when others were thinking Jesus was John the Baptist, or Elijah. In turn, Jesus built his church upon Peter’s faith.

It is one of the most important questions to answer in all the world. There is a moment when you must decide for yourself who you believe Jesus truly is. Sometimes this confession happens during Confirmation. Sometimes it is after a big, life-altering event, or sometimes it’s something that you slowly grow into.

For me, that happened at Alpha on the Holy Spirit weekend, which was time spent away from the demands of everyday life to learn about and experience the Holy Spirit. I didn’t grow up as a Christian and this was the first time in my life that I set aside time to learn more about Christianity and Jesus. There was a moment at that retreat where my soul acknowledged on a deep level that I was created in the image of God and Jesus was the son of God. I can’t really explain exactly how that happened, but in that moment, I knew I would spend my days walking, loving, and serving God. I understood in my bones Psalm 46:10 that says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Have you answered that question in your life yet? Who do you say Jesus is?

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