Author: Ron Graham
Peter’s Three Sharp Swords
This is not a lesson from Peter’s writings, however it is an old sermon outline which I felt would make a good finish to the two series of lessons covering Peter’s first and second epistles. So I have included it here for that purpose.
Peter might be called the man of three swords. The three swords are quite different. Peter held the first sword only briefly and then laid it aside. The same with the second. But once he took hold of the third sword, he never let it go.
1 Sword of Violence
- Peter was with Jesus when the mob guided by Judas came to sieze Jesus. (Matthew 26:36-47
- Peter had a sword which he drew and cut off an ear of the high priest's slave (John 18:10).
- Jesus rebuked Peter and told him to put the sword away.(John 18:11, Matthew 26:51-54).
- Jesus then touched the ear and healed the man (Luke 22:50-51).
- This steel sword of violence was not the kind of sword that Jesus wanted Peter to wear and to wield.
2 Sword of Sorrow
- Peter stood just outside the door when Jesus was in the coutyard of the highpriest (John 18:15-16).
- Three times Peter was asked if he were a disciple of Jesus, and three times he denied it (John 18:17,25-27).
- Jesus had earlier told Peter, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." (John 13:36-38, Mark 14:27-31).
- After Peter had denied Christ thrice, he heard the rooster crow for the second time, and he saw Jesus turn and look at him. "Then Peter went out and wept bitterly" (Luke 22:61-62, Mark 14:66-72).
- The first sword had hurt the ear of the high priest's slave. This second sword hurt the heart of Jesus. Peter must have seen great sorrow in eyes of Jesus when Jesus turned to look at him after the cock crowed.
- The sword of sorrow also cut Peter himself to the heart. "When he thought about it he wept" (Mark 14:72).
- But Peter did not hold on to this sword for long. As we shall see he exchanged it for another, unlike Judas who "went and hanged himself" (Matthew 27:3-5).
- The sword of bitter remorse was not the sword that Jesus wanted Peter to wear and wield.
3 Sword of Truth
- A few weeks later, after Jesus had died and risen, we find Peter in Jerusalem boldly addressing the multitudes with the message of the cross. (Acts 2:14,22-24,36).
- The result of this message was that "when they heard this they were cut to the heart..." (Acts 2:37-39).
- They had been cut by "the word of God which is sharper than any two-edged sword..." (Hebrews 4:12-13)
- This "sword of the Spirit" is the most powerful sword in the world (Ephesians 6:17).
- This third sword was the sword that Jesus wanted Peter to wear and wield.