Summary: Part 3 of the series The Da Vinci Code Faith, Fact or Fiction. Did Peter conspire against Mary as the true leader of the Church? Was Paul the woman hater some think he was? Was Mary really chosen as Jesus’ successor? We’ll explore it in The Truth abo
The Truth About Peter, Paul and Mary
The Da Vinci Code Part 3
Text: Luke 1:1-4
As soon as I gave the message title, a large percentage of you immediately started murmuring “the answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind” or “Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea…”, “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore”, “rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham” or “no easy walk to freedom” Well, we’re not going to be talking about the four generation folk singing trio.
I want to take a look with you at another trio, not from the 1960’s but rather from the first century.
I think I can be safe in saying that this trio never sang together but they did have several other things in common.
So who were Peter, Paul and Mary?
If they didn’t sing together, what on earth are their significance to us today?
What’s this have to do with Dan Brown’s book or a centuries old ecclesiastical cover up?
One thing all three of these individuals had in common was that each of them had a close encounter with Jesus of Nazareth and that encounter altered their lives forever.
Now that you understand that I’m talking about three who lived over 2,000 years ago, I’m sure your mind is filling with some things you’ve read or heard about each of them.
Some perceptions we have of:
• Hot head
• Denied Jesus
• Had “foot n mouth disease”
• Cut off a man’s ear
• First “Pope”
• Set out to kill Christians
• Got knocked off his high horse
• (unfairly) woman hater and
• Suppressed woman’s rights
• Delivered from seven demons
• Poor and destitute
• A prostitute
• (according to Brown) Jesus’ wife and mother
of his child.
Much like some of the “facts” resented in the Da Vinci Code, some of these details would use a little more detailed study. So this morning, let’s take a look at these three fascinating individuals and how they have influenced the church and the world.
Peter, The Fisher of Men
Peter and his brother Andrew were followers of John the Baptist. From scripture we learn that Peter was - well, rather bullheaded and set in his ways, but one meeting with Jesus was to change all of that. Not overnight, earlier I mentioned that Peter is remembered as hotheaded and quick to stick his foot in his mouth. He was so enraged the night of Jesus’ arrest that he cut a man’s ear off (That’s not what he was aiming for!). My greatest encouragement from Peter’s life is that we know about those characteristics of him AFTER he met Jesus.
There goes the thought that “I have to get myself straightened up before I go to church or can have a relationship with Christ”.
• Peter was the first to publicly identify Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God”
• He was one of the “inner three” disciples closest to Jesus (along with James and John)
• He was the first (of the Disciples) to see the empty tomb. (to John’s defense, he was a few years older)
Next week we are going to take a closer look at some of Brown’s claims regarding plots and conspericies about the Bible and Jesus, …. But for this morning, let me just say that:
• No where in scripture, any religious or first century documentation does a jealousy between Peter and Mary come up.
• No where in Scripture or other religious documentation is it documented that Peter was the Church’s first leader.
o Even at Pentecost all 120 where witnessing it was only Peter who addressed the crowd as a whole.
o The Book of Act tells us that Peter was among the other Apostles at the Council in Jerusalem.
o If the first Pope, we have an issue regarding Priests and marriage, because Peter was in fact a married man.
What Peter was, and is today, was a simple fisherman whose life was dramatically and eternally changed by a Carpenter from Nazareth named Jesus. He was a man who struggled with his own humanity and shortcomings to be one of the most influential and powerful proclaimers of the Gospel the world has ever known.
The Apostle Paul –
Known as Saul of Tarsis, as a young man, Paul’s acclaim as a persecutor of Christians spread throughout the Middle East. In fact, it was on his way to arrest a large band of Christians near Damascus that Paul was knocked off his “high” horse (literally). There he came face to face with Jesus (Crucified some 25 or 30 years earlier). I think any of us here would have to admit that such an encounter would grab our attention.