Jesus says to Peter, “Look At Me!”

25 06 2018

Jesus 2 - Bruce

(Picture is from the video of “Gospel of Matthew”, where Bruce Marchiano plays Jesus.  Highly recommend it! )

 

 

So, last night I wake up at 3.00 in the morning with a real bad dream!  This is a man who hardly has any dreams for months!  I am going to try to get back to sleep and I remember this Facebook post which said,

“When you can’t sleep at night, have you ever thought maybe it is God saying, “We need to talk and you now have the time.”

So I decided to just do exactly that, and God reminded me of my friend Peter, some call him, “Saint Peter”, but I see he is very much like me with many unsaintly qualities, and I am just going to highlight only three of the stories that I was reminded of.

  1. Peter walking on water- (Read full story at Matthew 14: 22- 33)

Here is Peter doing what Jesus had told him to do and he is taking the other disciples and going to the other side of the lake, when a great storm comes and rocks the boat so badly that they were all fearing for their lives.  They are wishing Jesus was there to help them in this situation, but no, they are alone to deal with this situation

Then we see Jesus comes walking on the water and they think he is a ghost, but finally they realize it is Jesus and Peter, my friend, says, “Lord if it is you, ask me to come to you.”  We next see Peter walking on the water, but he all of a sudden looks away from Jesus, and starts to sink.  So Jesus reaches out with his hand to Peter, giving us the first indication of Jesus saying to Peter “Look at ME”!

  1. Jesus transfigured before Peter – (Read full story in Luke 9: 28-36)

Jesus on this occasion takes Peter, James and John and goes up to a high mountain to be apart for a little while. So Jesus is praying and the disciples are sleeping!  (Seems like a common occurrence!)

So then Jesus is speaking to Moses and Elijah, and He is totally glowing with radiance!  Jesus then comes and wakes the three up and seems to say, “Look at Me”!  They are just startled by what they see, and my friend, Peter blurts out, let’s build three tabernacles here!  But Jesus hushes them and wants them, not to repeat anything that happened!

  1. Peter’s great confession – ( Read the full story in Matthew 16: 13-28)

So Jesus is with his disciples and says, “Who do people say that I am?”  And they answer, “Elijah, John the Baptist, Jeremiah, one of the prophets!”  But then Jesus says, “But who do you think that I am?”

So Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus then said to Peter, “I am going to build My Church on this rock …!”

But then, He starts to talk about how he was going to suffer and die, and my friend Peter jumps in and says, “No way, Jesus!  That is not going to happen!”  And so Jesus takes Peter aside and says, “Look at Me, Peter, you are not thinking the way that my Kingdom works.  This is how it has to happen.”  (This is my personal paraphrase)

  1. Peter is given the look – (Read the full story at Luke 22: 54- 62)

This story is the culmination of Jesus’ trying to get Peter’s attention to “Look at Jesus”!  We can see many other instances which can be read and studied, but that will be for another time and another day!

Jesus has been betrayed and is led to be tried, and Peter follows afar off and is warming himself by a fire in the cool morning hours, while he is watching what is happening to his friend Jesus.  And we see three times people come and confront Peter, “You are one of Christ’s followers aren’t you?”  And he vehemently protests that he is not.

The third time, a cock crows, and he remembers the words of Jesus, you will deny me three times and then the cock will crow.  At that moment, He looks at Jesus in the distance, and Jesus looks at Peter.  Their eyes lock and it is as if Jesus says to Peter, “Look at Me”!  Peter sees the love that Jesus expresses even the moment of denial, and he goes away and weeps bitterly!

Peter the impulsive, in the moment, “let’s go”, “let’s do”, “let’s try this” follower of Christ, whom Jesus was constantly trying to help him to focus on what Jesus was trying to say and do has heard Jesus say … “Look at Me”!  Did he learn the lesson?  We want to look at another story to learn what Peter really understood when Jesus was saying, “Look at Me”.

So Jesus had been crucified, was raised from the dead, spent time with the disciples and gone back to Heaven … Pentecost had happened and Peter and John are on their way to the Temple for Prayer Time, when they see this man who had been a beggar and they had seen him many times.  This day as usual, he asks Peter and John for money, but Peter today is a different man.  A Man who had looked at Jesus!  See what Peter says to the man,  “Look at me!  I don’t have any money to give you, but what I have, I will give to you.  In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

Peter had looked at Jesus, Peter had bought into the currency of the Kingdom of God, he had been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, as we saw in his message on the Day of Pentecost, and Peter boldly says like Jesus did to him, “Look at Me”.  When the storms are raging around and winds threatening to swallow you, when the trials of life make us so weary, that we cannot keep our eyes open, when it is time to pray, when our motives are questioned, as to why we really follow Jesus … we see that Jesus does not push us aside, but says, “Look at Me, I am here for you.  I am on your side.  I will help you!”

Jesus says, “Look at Me _________!” (Insert your name)