THE WORLD UNWINDS or WE UNWIND – The Book of Acts (Part 2)

Who likes ice cream? I am sure many of you have a special place in your hearts for ice cream. The myriad of flavours, that exist today is mind-boggling. We all have an affinity for a particular flavour. Mine is vanilla, and many of you will probably like chocolate, strawberry, and maybe an exotic flavour

We each have a special place in our hearts for our favourite flavour. Mine is vanilla. Yours may be chocolate. Why am I talking about ice cream and what it does with scripture? Surprisingly a lot. The nature of our choices related to our favourite flavour has to do with our objectivity. Each of us has an objective option for picking our favourite ice cream, and our objective reasoning dictates that choice. It may be associated with our taste, memories, but it all comes down to our reasoning, which nobody can dictate to you otherwise. I cannot force you to choose vanilla when you like chocolate. To do it would violate your objectivity which is intrinsically and inherently yours. Therefore you make that choice of your free will.
So, what does that have to do with scripture, particularly the topic we will talk about today, Peter?

Let us start by looking at who Peter is. We know he is a fisherman, and Jesus handpicked him. The place in scripture where we see Peter stand out is when he courageously proclaims in John 3:37 –”…I will lay down my life for you,” and Jesus mocks him by saying in the following verse, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.

Furthermore, we all know that was what had happened. However, why did Peter make such and proclamation? Why did he say, and was Jesus answer what he had expected? Peter took it upon himself like many of us by saying things to impress. He acted instinctively because the nature of his objectivity was within his framework. Paul acted out of his own choice and said what Paul felt would impress Jesus. God is omniscient, and he knows your heart even before your actions. Jesus knows that if your objectivity is anchored within your reasoning, whatever you say and do is unreliable and untrustworthy. Jesus knew what Peter would do before Paul even did it.

The rooster crowing three times is a significant theological point within a philosophical sense. We all know that for information to be acted upon and realized, there is a three-stage process of discernment, as Sigmund Freud portrays. This secular theory provides an in-depth application towards understanding the use of three within a theological view. According to Freud, there are three levels of awareness. The first being our conscious state, the second is the subconscious, and the third is the unconscious state. Looking at these secular views, we see a parallel to how Peter finally saw the reality of his objectivity. The first crow was a conscious realization, and the second is the reality breaking through from his mind to his heart, and the unconscious would be his spirit. Through all three layers, the fact of his actions had penetrated the very core of his mortal state. He broke down and cried, as we all do when we realize our wrongdoings.

However, these revelations only revealed but did not change Peter as we see the next confrontation with Peter’s objectivity when in John 21:15 after the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter, “….Do you Love me”. Not once, not twice but three times and three times, Peter subjectively pronounced his love from an objective view anchored within his reasoning. Peter was still bound to the world around him, and Jesus knew it. Jesus used the same approach in Peter’s denial as an opportunity to trigger his unconscious spirit to the reality of his objective denial of who Jesus indeed was within Peter’s objective framework.

Listen very carefully to what Jesus says to Peter immediately after the third response from the repeated question.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”

Now let us look at what Jesus is saying to Peter. As Jesus was well aware of Peter’s denial before the crucifixion and the particular number of times Jesus said Peter would deny Him, even after boldly proclaiming he would die for Jesus. Jesus already knew Peter would deny him and the three times Peter would say he loved Jesus. Peter acted as any of us would. We stand up tall and pious for everyone to see. We preach elegant sermons and dictate to others their brokenness when Jesus already knows your objectivity is bound within your own reasoning.

Therefore, this is why, when Jesus says to Peter, “when you were young, you used to dress,” it is to reveal Peter’s self-righteous attitude to anyone he wants to impress, while his objectivity is only from himself’.

And “you use to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted,” doing whatever he pleased,” but Jesus already knows that objective battle will come between Peter’s objectivity anchored within himself against the absolute anchored in God. “BUT when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go” The Holy Spirit will convict Peter and anchor his objectivity in God and take him where his reasoning would never take him.
That is what Jesus is telling him. There will come a day when Peter’s spirituality shall be anchored in the divine, and his objectivity will mirror God’s absolutes as he becomes what he denies within himself now.

That story unfolds in the book of Acts.

Look at what Peter does the minute he gets back to Jerusalem. The group knows why they are there – to wait for the helper. Do they know who or what the helper is? They did not. It could have been anything, and what does Peter do? He immediately announces the replacement for Judas, and the verses he uses to support that from the OT psalm is no relationship within the context David wrote them. Read the verses before and after the verse Peter uses. I believe Peter acted objectively within his reasoning and fear of his position as a leader since he was unaware of who the helper was. The drawing of lots has not divine intercession. How could anyone know? Scholars anticipate divine intervention because they fail to look at Peter and his objective reasoning. He acted to maintain his leadership in fear of who the helper would be. Any name entered into the draw would have produced a result. To assume it was God’s will is illogical. We fail to see the reasoning used by Peter without divine intervention.

The next time we hear Peter, we see a man whose objectivity is being pushed and confronted. He acted immediately after the helper had blessed them. His actions show a stark difference, and his OT referrals had objective divine clarity. But there was still a conflict in his objectivity since the prophecy of Joel calls for the nation of Israel to believe, and Peter makes a declaration that is contradictory to that prophecy since he cannot foretell the nation if Israel would believe.
Then following episodes with Peter see a man whose role is clearly defined, and he acts outwardly with conviction and determination, proclaiming Jesus and salvation in Christ.

The lame beggar at the temple gate shows his actions are subjectively shown. He acts and displays a man with conviction to his Jesus’s ministry as he speaks at Solomons Portico. Though his words may sound confrontational, “Acts 3:15 – and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. It stands in stark contrast to how Paul spoke to the Jews, in Acts 13: 28 – And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. Peter words laced with a sense of malice and accusation which stand in contrast to his words in 1 Peter 3: 15 – by in your hearts honor Christ as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you: yet do it with gentleness and respect.

In Acts 10:9 -, we see Peter’s evident struggle with his objectivity in struggling with unclean food and his meeting with Cornelius. Peter’s own reasoning and objectivity are challenged by the someone who was dressing him and taking him where he did not want to go. To the gentile.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”
These words echo in the shadows of Peter’s life as he is transformed into the disciple called by Christ.

This battle within Peter continues throughout his life and climaxes in his martyrdom. I believe what Jesus told Peter did come to pass, “when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” The Holy Spirit did dress him and take him where he would not go.

We, as Christians, live within a spiritual battle within our souls. God calls us to his will, and God uses us even in our broken state. Until we realize that battle, we will continue to fall short of God. The first step is to realize that inadequacy our inability to set aside our objective reasoning. We must seek God in our lives not only when we become consciously aware that it is time to pray or read the bible. It has to be the very essence of our souls. Unless we are objectively grounded in Him, we will always be looking back at our mistakes.

So when asked what your favorite ice cream is, maybe the first thought that comes to you is whether an ice cream gives that subjective pleasure that can outweigh the joy in knowing that God is with you. Maybe the first thought that grips you is that the joy you have in that ice cream is your ability to discern it within your inherent gifts from God that allow you to enjoy it.

Through this process of bringing your objectivity within the lens of God’s absolutes, not just whenever moral decisions confront us, but at every moment of your life, you are constantly seeking God and doing all that is right in His eyes. By your actions, God smiles over you as through you His glory is personified.

Our greatest fear is being able to recognize our inability to anchor ourselves in God. God knows our weakness and offers the Holy Spirit to help us walk that journey. God has given his Son to cleanse us of our sins. God has done everything possible for us and still we fall short. Maybe its time to trust in Him and offer ourselves in humility and look to Him and make God the very essence of our spiritual make up and be the mirror of who we were created in the image of.

Categories: Behold The Man, christianity, english

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