Jesus heals a blind person, but it takes two encounters for the person to begin seeing clearly. Peter identifies Jesus as the Messiah but Jesus won't let him tell anybody else, then calls Peter Satan! These are both stories of mistaken identity. They have much to show us today.
Richard Rohr speaks of life in two halves; the first half is the building of a strong 'container' or 'identity', the second half is finding the contents the container is to hold. In this message we consider the choosing of Nathanael and Peter's denial and restoration with these two halves of life in mind.
Have you ever been completely correct, only to find that you had also completely missed the point? This is exactly the state that Peter found himself. There are important lessons to be learned in this conversation between Peter and Jesus.
Many healing evangelists today fly in private jets and stay in 5-star hotels. In Acts 9, Peter, after healing a paralyzed man and raising a widow from the dead chooses to stay in the home of a tanner. Tanners lived on the outskirts of town because the smell of rotting flesh, urine and brines made of animal dung and brains caused the air to be heavy with a putrid odor. Yet, this is where Peter chose to stay. What can we learn from this, and what was this preparing Peter for?
We explore the conversion of Saul and the restoration of Peter; two post-resurrection encounters with Jesus that rocked their worlds and have continued to rock the world ever since. Neither encounter is what most church people would even consider "conversion" today. These conversions were not "born-again" experiences. They were conversions away from sacred violence - the idea that God endorses and blesses the use of violence in order to bring about some kind of holiness or righteousness. This may be where Jesus contrasts most sharply with some Old Testament texts.
We often think of Peter's three denials of Jesus as failures. But did Jesus want Peter to be arrested and crucified with him? If not, then perhaps something more subtle was playing out.
There are 5 stories in the New Testament with Samaritans as main characters. What can we learn from these stories that can apply to current-day tensions between Christians and Muslims?