2017 2nd Quarter
Lesson 1, March 25-31, The Person of Peter
Sabbath, March 25
“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” KJV, Matthew 14:28-33, emphasis added.
“Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” KJV, 2 Peter 1:15-21, emphasis added.
“Peter had great faith in Jesus. From the first he had believed that he was the Messiah. He had seen and heard John, who was the forerunner of Christ, proclaim him to be the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. He had been closely connected with Jesus, had witnessed his miracles, listened to his teachings, and was convinced that he was the Son of God. Many who had been convicted by the preaching of John, and had accepted Christ, began to doubt as to the mission of John, when he was imprisoned and put to death. They also doubted if Jesus was really the Messiah, whom they had looked for so long.
“But the faith of Peter never flagged; he followed his Master with unwavering devotion. When those of the disciples who had ardently expected Jesus to make a great display of power, and take his place on David’s throne, left him because they perceived that he had no such intention, Peter and his companions faltered not in their allegiance. The vacillating course of those who praised yesterday, and condemned today, did not affect the faith of the true follower of the Saviour. Peter declares, ‘Thou art the Son of the living God.’ He waited not for kingly honors to crown his Lord, but accepted him in his humiliation. Peter, in his confession of Christ, expressed the faith of the disciples. But notwithstanding this, Jesus knew that neither his believing followers nor any of the Jews had any idea of associating humiliation, suffering and death, with their Messiah. Compassionate Redeemer, who, in the full knowledge of the doom that awaited him, tenderly smoothed the way for his disciples, prepared them for their crowning trial, and strengthened them for the final test!” (Ellen White, Vol. 2, Spirit of Prophecy, 290, 291, emphasis added.)
“Through the mediumship of truth the character is transformed, and fashioned after the divine similitude. Peter represents Christians as those who have purified their souls through obedience to the truth through the operation of the Holy Spirit. This is confessing Christ. Jesus says: ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ This statement will cause all who conscientiously desire to know the way of the Lord, to fear and tremble. They will carefully consider what it is to confess Christ. The only way to understand what is our duty is to study the Scriptures and to learn perfectly the lessons of Christ, and to make a good confession of faith, not with our lips only, but in spirit, words, and works. The Lord says, ‘Ye are my witnesses.’ We do not become witnesses for Christ by maintaining a mere form of godliness, but we are his witnesses when we make that confession of Christ which is approved and accepted of the Father. To make such a confession, we must represent Christ in a holy life and blameless conversation. Jesus says, ‘If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.’ But no one can confess Christ unless the Spirit of Christ abides within him as a living principle. The conversation and deportment will manifest what is in the heart, giving visible expression to the grace and truth within, or revealing the corruption and unbelief of the soul.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, February 12, 1895, emphasis added.)