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What changed with Peter?

Posted by Chance on April 4, 2007

I had gotten in a discussion with Josh some time ago concerning Peter’s denial of Christ. What had perplexed me about Peter is that at Jesus’ arrest, it appeared that he tried to do what he said he would, that he was willing to die for Jesus. He cut off the ear of Malchus, who was the servant of the high priest. It looked like he was ready to fight the whole group that seized them. Following this, Jesus healed Malchus and stated “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” He also says

52″Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

Later in that same chapter, Peter denies Jesus three times.

So what changed in that time span? My thoughts are that Peter seemed eager to fight and die for a Jesus who was willing to stand against the religious establishment, and probably even become king of Israel. No doubt Peter didn’t fully understand what was going on and didn’t realize what Jesus truly had to do.

Does this apply to us? Are we willing to fight and die for our own idea of Jesus, rather than who Jesus actually is?

Just some thoughts.

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6 Responses to “What changed with Peter?”

  1. Neil said

    Great questions – I never thought of it that way. Perhaps the adrenaline wore off as well.

  2. Chance said

    Is it possible we may fear ridicule more than we do death?

  3. Dan Trabue said

    I think you’re on to something there. Many of us are willing to fight and die as long as we’re armed and dangerous, but to fight the good fight as Jesus led by example? To fight oppression by turning the other cheek? To overcome evil…with good??

    That’s more daunting to most of us, seems to me.

    Jesus had to continually fight the notion that he was the sort of Messiah the people were hoping for – a powerful and dangerous general to lead in the overthrow of Rome. I suspect that, although they were constantly told of Jesus’ New Way of overthrowing systems, the disciples kept clinging to the notion of armed resistence.

    Great questions.

  4. japhy said

    It seems to me that Peter was prepared to fight to the death for Jesus, but he learned that Jesus was not going to fight at all. When Peter realized the decision Jesus had made and saw what was happening to him because of it, Peter became afraid, and denied even knowing who Jesus was so that he might be spared the torture and humiliation.

    Peter wanted the death of a hero at the side of Jesus, not the slaughter of a lamb. It is hard for us, too, to accept the times when we must suffer and endure humiliation for the cause of Christ.

  5. Josh said

    Great point.

    Perhaps Peter still thought Christ was going to win? And he didn’t mind fighting a winning battle if there was something in it for him?

    Kind of reminds me of Christian debate. Do we debate for the cause of Christ or to be right or prove how smart we are?

  6. RGD said

    Very interesting and thought provoking. Of course I am not smart enough to touch it, but still, great post.

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