Tagged: Peter

2 Peter 1:16-21

This text is used for the Lectionary Year A on February 26th, 2017.

If you read 1 Peter, you will find that Peter addresses the truth of the suffering Christ and God’s strength as the power to persevere under trials by faith. If you read 2 Peter you will find that Peter defends the truth of Christ, that is, he addresses false teachers who distort the truth of the gospel. In 2 Peter 1:16-21 Peter lays a foundation for the firmly established truth of the gospel. He also reminds Christians of the knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:12-14; 2:20).

General information provides background for 2 Peter. 2 Peter, although debated by scholars, appears as an authentic letter written by Peter himself. He supplies his own name in the opening (1:1), describes his presence at the Mount of Transfiguration (1:16-17), and declares this as his second letter written (3:1). Working out the complexity of Peter’s authentic authorship or a pseudonymous author, however, necessary for the preacher, does not diminish the content of 2 Peter. A thorough investigation of 2 Peter shows a number of different Greek words in 2 Peter as opposed to 1 Peter, but also shows 2 Peter’s strong resemblance to the Book of Jude.

If you decide on Peter as the authentic author of 2 Peter, then a date of publication appears around A.D. 67-68 (a few scholars say A. D 64). Near those dates, it makes sense that Peter wrote from Rome. These possibilities placed side by side provide three interesting insights into 2 Peter.

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Acts 10:34-43

This text is used for the Lectionary Year A on January 8th, 2017.

What are the words every preacher wants to hear before his/her sermon?  “Now we are all here in the presence to God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”  That is what Cornelius said to Peter when Peter obeyed God and went to see him (Acts 10:33).  If our congregations listened like Samuel saying, “Speak Lord your servant is listening,” (1 Samuel 3:10) or like the Bereans, nobly, receiving the message with great eagerness (Acts 17:11), what would we say to them?

How did Peter get to this place?  If we can answer that question well, we may be able to access the power which characterized Peter’s preaching.  Peter had healed Aeneas and revived Dorcas leading many to believe in the Lord (Acts 10:42).  God was not finished with Peter.  In two different cities, two different men prayed.  Cornelius, a devout and God-fearing centurion, gave generously and prayed regularly.   Meanwhile, Peter, a one-time vile fisherman who acknowledged his sinfulness to Jesus, prayed on a rooftop.  As they prayed God worked.  First, he told Cornelius to send for Peter.  Then he told Peter that Cornelius was coming.  When Peter arrived at Cornelius’s house, the soldier said what every preacher wants to hear:  We are here to hear!  What did Peter say?  What would we?

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John 21:1-19

This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on April 10, 2016.

Hermano Leon Clipart
Hermano Leon Clipart

John’s epilogue provides a powerful conclusion to the gospel, despite the number of perplexing elements to the story.  A number of unanswered questions arise from the text.  Why do the disciples return to fishing?  Why are we told the specific number of fish caught in the nets (153)?  Why are there two different words for “love” mentioned in this text?  Why were the disciples able to catch fish simply by casting their nets on the other side of the boat?  While these enigmatic issues are fascinating, the preacher is better off centering the sermon on the clearer declarations within the text.

The setting invites some intertextual observations which can inform the sermon.  The disciples are fishing on the Sea of Tiberius (21:1).  The only other time the Sea of Tiberius is mentioned in the gospel is when it serves as the setting for the feeding of the 5000 in chapter 6.  In that story, Jesus provides a miraculous meal for a large crowd.  In this story, Jesus provides an ordinary breakfast for a small crowd.  In both stories, Jesus proves to be the provider for those who follow him.  Like God who provided manna in the wilderness, Jesus provides fish and bread to sustain his people in their need.

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