V. 28 introduced us to the confusion that abounded in Christ’s day. They by and large missed His arrival, explained away His ministry and rejected His claims to be who He claimed to be. Why? It is quite simple if you were to get the best selling book list of the day.
A German scholar Schurer gave us a lifetime of study into the inter-testamental Jewish apocalyptic writings (that’s a big word for between Nehemiah and Malachi’s time to John the Baptist).
Well, what did the Jews look for in 400 years of religious writing? Listen: these are direct quotes from apocalyptic writings:
- Before Messiah comes there will be great and terrible tribulation.
- into the chaos will come a herald Elijah to announce Messiah’s coming.
- Messiah enters the world.
- All the nations gather against this Messiah.
- Total destruction of the world’s armies follows.
- Jerusalem is renovated.
- All jews regather in Jerusalem.
- Palestine is the center of world rule.
- A new age of peace and goodness lasts forever.
No wonder they missed Him. They looked for Alexander the Great + Caesar + Napoleon in one! So, in the confusion they missed Him. As one writer put it:
Some say He was just a good teacher,
Jesus has been called the ideal man, an example of love, the highest model of religion, the foremost pattern of virtue, the greatest of all men, and the finest teacher who ever lived. All of those descriptions capture elements of His character, but they all fall short of the full truth. The apostle Thomas expressed it perfectly when he saw Jesus after the resurrection, and exclaimed, “My Lord and My God!” (John 20:28).
And that’s v. 29-30 with the contrast of earthly vs. heavenly + confusion over truth vs. Error. Peter steps forward with the confession. Let’s examine that grand confession in v. 29-30. He said: You’re the One promised in the Old Testament.
Who was the One Promised in the Old Testament?
- Isaiah 7:14 God with us
- Isaiah 9:6 Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God,
everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace
- Isaiah 53 Suffering servant
- Micah 5:2 Eternal
Peter said you are God’s Son. Now v. 31-33 — the condemnation. How quickly things change. As soon as Peter followed Satan’s strategy (glory without suffering) instead of God’s (suffering transformed into glory), Christ rebuked him.
Christ temptation = avoid the cross (Mt. 4) Why? Because He stood in the way of the cross. The cross is the center of human history.
- Gal. 6:14 God forbid that I should boast except in the cross.
- 2 Cor. 5:19 God was in Christ
All redemptive history surrounds the sinless, divine sacrifice shedding His blood on a cross to save us from our sin! So He was condemned, rebuked for His adversary’s attitude.
What about Peter the Rock, the Pope, the Keys?
- Petros/Petra = Christ Rock
- Keys = Acts 2, 8, 10 Gospel open
Was Peter the first Pope and Founder of the Roman Catholic Church?
- Peter was married and had a wife and mother-in-law (Mark 2, 1 Cor. 9:5).
- Peter never thought nor taught that the church was built on him (I Pet. 2:4-7). Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone.
- Then, what did he teach? Well, let’s ask him by way of the New Testament inspired books and see:
An Interview with St. Peter by John Phillips
St. Peter played a prominent part in the early Church. The book of Acts records several of his early sermons. He authored two books in the Holy Scriptures.
A study of his sayings casts much light on his attitude toward the Church and its teachings.
How would he have answered questions both Catholics and Protestants ask in this ecumenical age? We have written and addressed some, as it were, to St. Peter.
His replies are all taken from his own speeches and writings as we have them in the Holy Scriptures. We have used only the approved Confraternity edition of the Scriptures in giving St. Peter’s replies.
Q. Could you tell us simply, St. Peter, how we can be saved from our sins?
A. “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).
Set your hope completely upon that grace which is brought to you in the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 St. Peter 1:13).
“To him all the prophets bear witness, that through his name all who believe in him may receive forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43).
Q. Do those who have trusted the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins have to anticipate purgatory when they die?
A. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has begotten us again, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto a living hope, unto an incorruptible inheritance–undefiled and unfading, reserved for you in heaven. By the power of God you are guarded through faith for salvation, which is ready to be revealed in the last time. Over this you rejoice” (1 St. Peter 1:3-6).
Q. But surely, St. Peter, even the true believer has a residue of sins for which he has to make restitution to God in penance?
A. “Christ…has suffered for you,…who himself bore our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died to sin, must live to justice; and by his stripes you were healed” (1 St. Peter 2:21, 24).
Q. St. Peter, is it possible for grace to be purchased by us in any way?
A. “You know that you were redeemed from the vain manner of life handed down from your fathers, not with perishable things, with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 St. Peter 1:18-19).
“Thy money go to destruction with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money. Thou hast no part or lot in this matter; for thy heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this wickedness…and pray to God, that perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee” (Acts 8:20-22).
Q. What is your opinion on baptismal regeneration, St. Peter? Are we brought into the family of God through a sacrament of baptism? Is this how we are born again?
A. “For you have been reborn, not from corruptible seed but from incorruptible, through the word of God who lives and abides forever” (1 St. Peter 1:23).
** Q. Do you think all men wil eventually be saved?
A. “But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by that same word have been stored up, being reserved for fire against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (II St. Peter 3:7).
** Q. St. Peter, do you think a Christian should be expected to keep all the ordinances and traditions which grow up around even the true faith?
A. Why then do you now try to test God by putting on the nexk of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers not we have been able to beat? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 15:10-11).
** Q. Should we pray to the Father, or to the Lord’s mother?
A. “Pray to God” (Acts 8:22).
“Invoke as Father him who without respect of persons judges according to each one’s word” (1 St. Peter 1:17).
**Q. Who is it that brings us to God,. St. Peter?
A. “Christ also died once for sins, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1 St. Peter 3:18).
Q. St. Peter, do you think we should give great prominence to the Holy Scriptures in speaking to men about God?
A. “The word of the Lord endures forever. Now this is the word of the gospel that was preached to you” (1 St. Peter 1:25).
** Q. Did you ever consider yourself any higher than other Church leaders, St. Peter?
A. “Now I exhort the presbyters among you–I, your fellowpresbyter” (1 St. Peter 5:1).
Q. Is it true Sovereign Pontiff Christ Himself? If so, how will He reward faithful Church leaders, St. Peter?
A. “And when the Prince of the shepherds appears, you [The presbyters] will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 St. Peter 5:4).
Q. Would you subscribe to the teaching that the Church should have a separate priesthood distinct from other Christians?
A. “Be you yourselves as living stones,…a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 St. Peter 2:15).
Q. If we are to regard every true believer as a priest, what is the priestly function of the believer?
A. “You, however, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people; that you may proclaim the perfections of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 st. Peter 2:9).
Q. Do I need some other mediator or intercessor?
A. “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Q. St. Peter, what should be our proper concept of the Lord Jesus now that He has ascended to God? Should we still think of Him as depicted in the crucifix of as a Babe?
A. “Jesus Christ…is at the right hand of God, swallowing up death that we might be made heirs of eternal life; for he went into heaven, Angels, Powers and Virtues being made subject to him” (1 St. Peter 3:22).
Q. And Peter, what about the church being built on you?
A. 1 Pet. 2:4-7 “And coming to Him as a living stone (Jesus Christ) chief cornerstone”.
And as St. Paul said: 1 Cor. 3:11 — Other foundation can no man lay….