Let’s try something different for this last entry in our current blog series – JOURNEY TO THE CROSS. It’s quite likely that we will attend services this coming weekend that focus on Jesus – His death and resurrection, and for most of us it will be a return to familiar topics.
So for our final adventure, I’d like to call attention to one of the twelve disciples. He was one of Jesus’ three closest friends. He played a prominent role in the story of Jesus’ last hours before the cross. His interaction with His risen Lord is carefully noted, as is his leadership in the early Church. Two of his letters are included in the New Testament canon. He goes by the name, Simon Peter.
Suppose your family were to form a team and take on the task of investigating Simon Peter’s performance as Jesus’ disciple. Your complete file of information to draw from is pretty thick, so you’ll probably decide to limit your investigation to a narrow time frame. I’d recommend you use Luke 22:31-34, 22:54-62, 24:9-12 and John 21:15-19.
A simple enactment can be achieved by assigning parts and letting family members read the words of Jesus, Peter, the three accusers around the fire and a narrator…maybe even the rooster? Let everyone decide where they would like to be during the second scene, especially.
How you go about this depends on your family profile – number of members and age span. You might choose one person to be the ‘director’ of your FBI research team, giving him or her the responsibility to keep everyone on track and put the findings of different team members in a memorandum for your files – that is your Family Time Journal.
Start the investigation with everyone together; read the first two scripture passages (see above) and watch the film if you’re used to doing this. Let one person act as a scribe as everyone makes suggestions describing Peter’s character (and possible motives), words and actions. Using one word, or short phrase answers, describe Peter as he is portrayed in these verses. Make a final analysis as to his worthiness to be part of Jesus’ ministry team…a Performance Review, so to speak.
More experienced FBI agents could read the latter two scripture portions (above) and summarize them for everyone. Discuss:
- What does Jesus do to foster His relationship with Peter?
- Would you have acted this way? Why or why not?
Wrap up your performance evaluation of Peter by letting your FBI team look at themselves: Are there ways that we deny Jesus? What words and actions make it difficult for others to identify us as followers of Jesus? Might it even be our failure to speak up or take action that is clearly called for? Allow the Holy Spirit to guide your sharing and end by praying for one another.
The more senior FBI team members can read Peter’s letters, 1 & 2 Peter, found near the end of the New Testament. Neither letter is very long and the writing is straight forward. For our purposes in making an evaluation of Peter, see if you detect anything in his teaching that gives a hint of his experiences with Jesus before the crucifixion. Bring these observations to bless your whole team.
2 Peter 4:10,11: And the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Amen, Peter – amen!