Posts Tagged ‘Peter’

P-shipJesus: So, how was spring break?

Peter: Great! I took the kids, Mom and the little woman to the beach at the Promontory of Zeus, near Haifa.

Jesus: Yeah, super beaches and great restaurants. Our family went there a few years back for Jimmy’s birthday.

Peter: Did you go to the Phoenician Museum?

Jesus: Yep. At the time, Jimmy was crazy about ships and Jude wanted to see a dolphin.

Peter: So, you went to Sea World?

Jesus: Yeah, but paying two denari to stand and look in a big tidal pool is a bit much. Thank goodness there was a 10 denari limit for families!

Peter: I had to pay 8.

Jesus: Did you like the Phoenician Museum? Did’ja see the round boat?

Peter: Amazing–they sailed those to the ends of the earth and back.

Jesus (smiling): Yep. Did you go to the Crab Shack?

Peter (surprised): Lord, no!!! I wouldn’t eat one of those sea spiders in my dreams! We went to the Purple Clam and sat in the kosher room. I had some terrific grilled tuna and Salome and the kids had the ‘catch of the day,’ fried mahimahi.

Jesus: Did you sea fish?

Peter: Of course, I saw fish.

Jesus: No, did you fish in the sea?

Peter (clumsily): Oh, yeah–I went out on a day boat with some Samaritans–they were a lot of fun for a bunch of sinners.

Jesus: Samaritans. What’d’ya think? Should they be kicked out for disagreeing over temple sites and stuff? Should they be allowed to worship in our synagogues?

Peter (thoughtfully): Really (rubbing his chin)…I think there should be as few barriers between God and humans as possible. If someone wants to know you, or the Father, who am I to put up hurdles? Like you say, if they love God and others as themselves, they’re headed the right direction. We, Jews, try to keep the Law of Moses in our hearts, but that’s a joke, really. Mercy and grace are our only chance at seeing God. As you say, “Truth on the inside; grace on the outside.”

Jesus (patting him on the back): That’s key, Peter. You have the key–you will fish for people someday. Remember this conversation. Pull’em into God’s boat. (Pointing at Peter) Upon this ‘rock’ I’ll build my church.

Peter: Wow. That’s a lot of metaphors.

Jesus (sheepishly): Yeah, that kinda got away from me…

Tr8: You have the key to open and close doors or pull people into the boat or whatever. Don’t mess it up.

Loosely based on Matthew 16.

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jesus and murphJesus is watching the disciples fishing out in the Sea of Galilee. He and Murphy, the non-disciple, are sitting with their backs to the setting sun. Peter is waving a flag.
Jesus: Murph, get your flags out and semaphore them to the left about 30 yards.
Murphy (flapping flags): M. O. V. E. L.E.F.T. 3.0.
Peter (flapping flags): F.E.E.T.
Murphy (flapping): Y.A.R.D.
Murphy sits back down beside Jesus.
Jesus: My last Passover is coming up. Are you going to join us in Jerusalem? It’ll be something.
Murphy: What’d’ya mean?
Jesus: Judas is going to betray me, I’m going to be crucified, the guys are going to freak, then I’m going to come back from the dead. Murph, do you believe I can rise again after I’m dead?
Murphy: If you say so. Want me whack Judas? I’ll make plans for J-city.
Jesus: Don’t worry about Judas. Hope you’ll come–you’ll see the greatest event in all history.
Murphy: In all history? How will people living 500 years from now know about ‘lil ole us in Judea?
Jesus: This is going to be so big the whole world will start their calendars over based on my resurrection.
Murphy: Wow! But who’ll believe it?
Jesus: The world will know because you and the Apostles and the 70 will love as I have loved you. You’ll tell the world about me. Matthew, Peter, John and a guy named Luke, a doctor who will talk with a Pharisee named Paul will write books about me. They’ll call ’em Gospels.
Murphy: Seems to me you’ll need some outside witnesses…
Jesus: Got it covered. This will be one of the most recorded events in history. Rome keeps records like nobody else. Plus, Ignatius, Origin and Eusebius and tons of others will write reference materials. They’ll help attach dates to rulers, proconsuls, rebels, high priests and what-not. The witnesses will be legion and will grow with time. You’ll see.
Murphy: You can count on me to keep your story straight–I’ll tell everyone I know.
Jesus: Murphy, you know you aren’t a Disciple, right?
Murphy (looking down): Yeah, I know. I screw things up way too often. I’m not worthy.
Jesus: No, that’s not it. You’ve been baptized, you believe and you follow me. You are mine, 100%. All of the guys have sin issues similar to yours–nobody but me is perfect. No, your destiny is to know me well, receive my love and be a nobody. No one will ever know you were born–except a blogger, who’ll do little better than imagine you.
Murphy: So, I’m just a nobody? But I get to be with you?
Jesus: Yep.
Murphy: I can live with that. Look, Peter’s flapping…says, T.O.O. M.A.N.Y. F.I.S.H. How shall I respond?
Jesus: Tell him,”Let’s eat.”

Tr8: Being a nobody doesn’t keep you from being close to Jesus.

Peter and Paul (with his Roman guard, Hector) are sitting near what will eventually be the Vatican. They are watching practice chariot racers tearing around a long oval.

Paul (pointing): Number 6, Claudius and Gustovo are pinheads. They were way too loose on the turn.

Hector (nodding): Yep. They’ll lose the inside.

Peter: Losers don’t fare well here in Rome…. Changing the subject; Paul, I was reading your letter to the local church. At the top of page eight you said, ‘There’s no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.’ What’d’ja mean?

Paul (rolling his eyes, looking at Peter): Julius Cricket, Peter! You were with him! There was no condemnation in Christ.

Peter: Well, now that you mention it, that’s true enough. His grasp of the truth would make us a little nervous, but he never condemned us. Worst I remember is when he called me ‘Satan’ and told me to step away. I thought he was going to hit me. I felt pretty bad about that, but he hugged me afterwards.

Paul: It’s important that everyone get straight what it means to be ‘in Christ.’  Remember the Jerusalem Council? You guys were on the money.

Peter: I remember. It was important that we not set up a bunch of junk for the Gentiles in Antioch to trip over on their way to Christ.

Paul: Right. In Christ we are not condemning and because we love him, and act like him, we don’t dish out condemnation.

Peter: But, Paul, admit you can be annoying with your ‘I used to be a murdering, Christ-hating, pharisee thing.’

Paul: I can’t help it if I have a compelling story. I used to HATE Christ. I was in for KILLING people in Christ. I was all about making little Christian widows and orphans. So, if Christ can accept ME, who’s left out in the cold?

Peter: You were a piece of work for sure. I can barely fit my head around it all. Even today.

Hector (to Paul): You hunted Christians down and killed them? I’ve done that, too, out east of the city. Hmmm. Go figure. God will accept me?

Peter (to Hector): You can’t imagine this guy as a youngster. He was soooo full of himself and soooo sure he knew everything. He acted like God. God, he was really scary. Sure, God accepts you right now and you don’t even have to quit your job.

Hector: I don’t believe it.

Peter: Paul, here, is a ‘Miracle Man.’ He’s on a 180 degree course. In the early days he’d as soon a killed me as looked at me. If God can work him out, you’ll be easy, at least if you want to be in him.

Hector: So, is that why you’re best buds, now? Christ? Even though you wanted to kill him?

Paul: Well, yeah, mostly. Right, Peter?

Peter: Hector, I wish you could have been with Christ when he was alive on earth. You’d have loved him. Paul’s the best demonstration that Christ’s still at it.

Hector (scratching his chin thoughtfully): So, what happened?

Paul: I met Christ. Literally. AFTER he was crucified. When I realized it was him, for real, I fell down because it hit me that I had been fighting against God all along. I thought I loved him. I was absolutely shattered. He said. ‘Saul, there’s no condemnation here, in me.’

Peter: Yeah, sounds exactly like Jesus when I was with him. He had a way of doing that. He changed Paul’s name and showed him his love and grace.

Paul (to Hector): So, see, Hector? We, Peter and I, have no condemnation for you because we love you like Christ.

Hector: I’ve always thought you were the weirdest rebel convict I’ve ever met. I believe you’d do anything for me if I asked.

Peter: We both would. We’re here for you Hector.

Paul: Whenever you feel really worn down by life, remember, there’s no condemnation here.

Hector (pointing): Looks like Claudius and Gustovo lost the race. They’re probably going to wake up in Syria or someplace.

Paul: Let’s go buy them a drink.

Tr8: In Christ’s love there is no condemnation. We are free.

The continuing story of two traitors: Cornelius and Peter. The night of the grill Jesus was betrayed into the hands of his enemies. Cornelius was the Roman presence as the chief priests captured and tried Jesus at Caiaphas’ palace.

Peter following the crowd to the palace gate. He sat nervously by a fire.

Bystander: It’s getting colder! Hey, weren’t you with the Messiah guy?

Peter: No. You’re thinking of somebody else.

Another bystander: No, I’m sure you were with him in the Temple. I saw you!

Peter: Seriously? You think I’d get sucked into this Messiah business? No way.

Cornelius waited at the gate as well. He wanted nothing to do with Jewish religious politics — especially with regard to Jesus of Nazareth. As long as things were relatively peaceful. He would watch, not act. He moved nearer the fire and listened.

Peter: I have a twin brother. Maybe you saw him.

Cornelius: Nah, you are one of them. I remember seeing you with him in Jerusalem a year or so ago. He healed one of my servants.

Peter: I say, ‘Hail Caesar! Not, Hail King of the Jews!’ The hell with this, I’m out of here!

Cornelius and the others watch as Peter disappears into the night muttering under his breath. Cornelius turns and walks into the courtyard. Jesus is in the middle of a group of Temple guards and clerics. He’s taking a beating, but makes no sound.

Cornelius (shakes his head and thinks to himself): Jewish justice. Religious fanatics. He doesn’t deserve this. They gripe about Rome, but look at these bloodthirsty fools!

The leaders and priests walk over to Cornelius.

Caiaphas: We need to take him to the Governor’s palace. We’ll have a riot here if we pursue this further here. Take possession of the prisoner and escort us. Pilate’s orders.

Cornelius: As you wish.

Cornelius has a front row seat for Jesus’ mock trial, beating, humiliation and crucifixion. He waits on Golgotha for the injustice to end. He’s been involved in a lot of death, but this is too much. The skies darken and all that can be heard are the sobs of a handful of women nearby.

Jesus (turning a swollen, knowing eye toward Cornelius): It is finished!

Cornelius is amazed. He has seen death take men, but never a man take death. It was like someone leaving a room.

Cornelius: Surely, this was the Son of God!

At the end of his duty shift he called for a scribe.

Scribe: Sir?

Cornelius: Take this down: ‘I, Cornelius, Centurion of the Italian Regiment, herewith resign my commission. In consideration of leave accrued, this resignation is effective immediately. I depart for the coast today and will sail with the first favorable tide.’ Deliver this to the Governor’s palace immediately.

Cornelius retired to Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast, troubled with the role he played in Christ’s crucifixion. He prayed to God with his household for forgiveness on a daily basis.

Peter was staying with Simon the tanner in Joppa when he had a dream and followed the Spirit’s leadership to Caesarea (Acts 16).

Peter finds himself knocking on a retired Centurion’s door in Caesarea. The door opens and a servant escorts Peter’s crew into the inner court. There, he is met by Cornelius and his household.

Cornelius (looking closely): I know you.

Peter (looking down): I know you, too.

Cornelius: You denied your Lord…

Peter: You crucified…

Silence.

Peter spends the rest of the evening telling Cornelius the story of the risen Christ. Confessions are made. Burdens are dropped. The gospel brings peace and forgiveness to both.

Tr8: Confession lightens the heart. Peace is in forgiveness. Bonds are forged in suffering.

It’s the night before Jesus’ arrest. Everyone has gathered at Mary’s house. They are grilling hamburgers. Most of the disciples are upstairs, but Jesus, Peter, Mark, and his cousin, Barnabas, are on the porch. A gentle breeze is blowing from the west. Jesus is working the grill.

Mary, Mark’s mother, is a widow. She hands Barnabas a plate full of burgers. Barnabas, her elder brother’s son, came to Jerusalem to help her four years earlier. Barnabas holds the plate while Jesus moves ’em to the grill. Mary ducks back inside and reminds her serving girl, Rhoda, to put a large bowl of water and a towel upstairs.

Mark is the youngster on the porch. He’s fatherless, but father rich — all three men on the porch think of him as their son.

Peter: How’s school, kid?

Mark: Don’t ask. Mom’s grounded me ’cause I wrote, ‘Roma edunt vermes’ on my Latin notebook.

Peter: That could be dangerous, kid. Rome has no sense of humor.

Jesus: Work on your Greek, Mark. Peter’s gonna need a good scribe someday.

Barnabas (to Jesus and Peter): Mark’s in the top of his class. The only kid who comes close is a senior named Saul…he’s a bit of a mess, but if he ever discovers humility he’ll be something.

Jesus (rotating the burgers): Barnabas, I want you to keep a close eye on Mark and this “Saul” kid. As I said before, I’m going away…

Peter: Here we go again…

Jesus: Seriously, Simon? We have a tough weekend ahead. Get in the game. Barnabas, Saul and Mark are both going to need your encouragement, so be ready.

Barnabas nods. Jesus flips the burgers. A Macadonian centurion with a squad of Romans walk past the gate.

Peter: Those guys still give me the creeps. That centurion works in Pilate’s palace. Wasn’t it his servant you healed long-distance?

Jesus: Yep. He’s a good man with a really tough job. He’ll retire after this weekend in a state of total disillusionment. Peter, you’ll see him tonight at the High Priest’s palace and again in the future. You’ll both have betrayals to talk about. You’ll become close. I will give you both peace.

Peter: Rabbi, I’m not seein’ that. Centurions are not my cup of tea…

Jesus points the spatula at Peter and shakes his head. The burgers sizzle.

Mark: Jesus, when I get out of school, can I follow you?

Barnabas: Mark, ANYONE who wishes can follow Jesus. I’ve never seen him turn anyone away. Right, Lord?

Jesus: Barnabas, you’re truly ‘the son of encouragement.’  Yeah, Mark, you and Barnabas will follow me.

The sun dips toward the horizon. The hamburgers on the grill are about done. Jesus flips them and puts cheese on them. Mary comes out with a platter.

Jesus (with a deep sigh): Okay guys, let’s head upstairs. Mark, take notes tonight. In Greek.

Tr8: Follow. The sooner the better. Take notes