|From Gospel and Kingdom |
by Graeme Goldsworthy
Since then I have been big on helping others have that same WOW moment which serves, among other things, to keep daily Bible reading rich and exciting. Come to any Bible study or reading group of mine or even a Sunday School lesson and there won't be too many weeks go past when I don't pull out this road map of the Bible or some other similar timeline and probably a Bible atlas as well, just so that we know where we are geographically, politically and chronologically. A basic knowledge of this stuff brings the Bible alive.
Last year a couple of my groups wanted to read through Peter's epistles. Before we tackled the letters we went BIG on context, spending several weeks getting to know Peter by working through as much of his life story as is recorded in the Bible. Many of Peter's adventures are mentioned across each of the gospels so in choosing passages I endeavoured to choose the rendering that provided the most detail about Peter. Of course the Bible is Jesus' story, not Peter's, but it was a surprisingly rich journey getting to know Peter the man, which then informed our reading of his letters beautifully.
So without further ado, here are the Peter passages we read before reading his letters. It's a great reading project. Maybe a fun summer holiday adventure. You won't be sorry.
Luke 5: 1-11 Jesus calls his disciples
Mark 1: 29-34 Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law
Luke 6: 12-16 Choosing the twelve
Matthew 14: 22-36 Jesus walks on the water
Mark 5: 21-43 Jesus raises the dead girl
John 6: 60-71 You have the words of eternal life
Matthew 16: 13-20 Peter declares Jesus is the Messiah
Mark 8: 31-33 Jesus predicts His death
Luke 9: 28-36 The transfiguration
Matthew 17: 24-27 Jesus pays the temple tax
John 13 Washing the disciples' feet and Jesus predicting Peter's denials
Matthew 26: 36-38 Peter at Gethsemane
John 18: 1-14 Jesus arrested
Matthew 26: 69-75 Peter's denials
Luke 24: 1-10 Peter runs to the tomb
John 21: 1-25 Jesus reinstates Peter
...and then for a BIG Peter finish, read Acts 1-15. My groups, both having studied Acts in recent times, did the abridged version of...
Acts 1-3 After Jesus' ascension and then onto Pentecost
Acts 10 Cornelius
Acts 12 Peter in prison
Acts 15 Peter and Paul sort themselves out
Good to note also as you venture into his letters that Peter was near the end of his life and ministry when he wrote them.
So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 2Peter 1: 12-15
He brings all of his passion, energy, loyalty and faith to bear as he pastors and exhorts those in his sphere to press on in Jesus, and passes the baton to the next generation. It's really great reading.