Jesus' Friend Peter
Brothers :
The Holy Spirit
and Jesus
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7. Jesus' Friend Peter

Four Drachma Coin

After Jesus and the disciples arrived in Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, the tax collectors came to Jesus' friend Peter and challenged him in Matthew 17.24b-27, " 'Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?' 'Yes, he does,' he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. 'What do you think, Simon?' he asked. 'From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes — from their children or others?' 'From others,' Peter answered. 'Then the children are exempt,' Jesus said to him. 'But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth, and you will find a four drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.' The "drachma" was the Greek currency used at that time in Galilee, with the Romans' permission and oversight by different states and cities. The use of the drachma continued during the Roman era. The "four-drachma coin" weighed 4.3 grams of silver and was the most popular coin during Alexander the Great's conquests and continued as a local currency in Judea under the Romans. A four drachma coin was equivalent to four days' pay for a skilled worker, which was quite a lot of tax to pay even by today's standards! But here Jesus provides the tax in a miracle both for himself and his friend Peter. This act silenced the tax collector's criticism of him. On another occasion, when they talked together in Galilee, Jesus said something astonishing to his disciples in Mark 9.31b, "They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, 'The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days, he will rise.' But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it." The disciples were filled with questioning at Jesus' statement, but they were more concerned about who was the greatest among them.

Peter's Doubt

FishJesus spoke of his sinless nature and asked the disciples whether any of them could prove him guilty of sin. If he were telling the truth, why wouldn't they believe him? Later in 2 Corinthians 5.21, Saint Paul explained that Jesus had committed no wrong, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Note here that "to be sin" can equally be translated as "to be a sin offering." Jesus' friend Peter who walked and talked with him, explained after the resurrection in 1 Peter 2.22, "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." A reference in Isaiah 53.9 says, "He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth." Saint John, the disciple that Jesus loved, adds in 1 John 3.5, "But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin." The sight of Jesus' transfiguration shows us his deity. Moses and Elijah are subject to him. We read about Jesus' Transfiguration when he is transformed and becomes gloriously radiant upon the mountain. Saint Luke writes in Luke 9.28b-32, "Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Jesus' friend Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him." Note that "his departure" comes from the Greek word for "exodus," which is significant considering his meeting with Moses.

Three Shelters

Mosaic Of TransfigurationAs the men are leaving Jesus, Peter says to him in Luke 9.33b-35, " 'Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' (He did not know what he was saying.) While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.'" Apparently, Peter does not understand what is going on, and although his motives are pure and noble, he completely misunderstands the supremacy of Jesus over these other spiritual giants.

Jesus Superior

Jesus TransfigurationLuke 9.36 continues, "When the voice had spoken, the disciples there found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen." In Jesus Transfiguration account, we see that Jesus is not considered equal to Moses and Elijah but superior to them and that his Heavenly Father confirms this in the hearing of certain selected disciples by calling him, "My chosen son."

Worship Jesus

Jesus BlessingWe are called upon to worship Jesus as the Holy Spirit's brother in the godhead. We need to join in that honor. During the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus asserted his deity when he said to Satan in Matthew 4.10, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" This quotation comes from a verse in Deuteronomy 6.13, "Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name." Jesus often used Old Testament scriptures in his ministry as we should also do. After Jesus had miraculously calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, we read in Matthew 14.33, "Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God.'" Again the disciples worshipped Jesus after the calming of the storm. His resurrection was recorded in Matthew 28.9, "Suddenly Jesus met them. 'Greetings,' he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him." These were three independent occasions when the disciples, as well as others, worshipped Jesus.✞

Jesus Honored

Jesus' teaching also affirmed his equality with the Father. He insisted in John 5.23, "That all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews 1.6 asserted the same truth, "Again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, 'Let all God's angels worship him.'" In the Heavenly realm in Revelation 5.8-11, we saw the vision, "The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people. And they sang a new song, saying, 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals because you were slain, and with your blood, you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language, and people and nation. You have made them be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.'" We noted that the phrase "they will reign" was translated in some manuscripts as "they reign," which is the present rather than the future tense.

Saint Hippolytus

Interestingly, in the Third Century, Saint Hippolytus of Rome (170-235 AD), one of the most influential theologians at that time, identified the four living creatures in his writings as the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Hippolytus was also remembered as the patron saint of horses due in part no doubt to the tradition that he was dragged to his death by wild horses! During the Middle Ages, people brought sick horses for healing to St Ippolyts, Hertfordshire, England A church named after him there!

Godhead Brothers Together

AngelsJesus Christ is one of the Godhead brothers, together with the Holy Spirit and the Heavenly Father. Angels numbering thousands worship him. In Revelation 5.12-14, we read of Jesus as one of the three Godhead brothers. Here in Revelation 5.11-12, he is the Lamb of God receiving glory in Heaven. In Revelation 5.11-12, we read, "Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice, they were saying: 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!'"

Lamb Throne

Lamb of GodRevelation 5.13-14 continues, "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying, 'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!' The four living creatures said, 'Amen,' and the elders fell and worshiped." The Evangelist John, otherwise called John of Patmos, writes of Jesus being at the Creation with God. In John 1.1-3, he confirms, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him, all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made."


Jesus' FaceWhen Jesus speaks about being at the Creation with God, the Jews exclaim, "You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham!" "Very truly I tell you," Jesus answers in John 8.57-58, "before Abraham was born, I am!" Again Jesus uses the God name "I am" for himself confirming, he was there at the very beginning of Creation long before Abraham was born.

"Jesus' Friend Peter"
by Ron Meacock

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