St Peter - Bible study activities
'Surely you don't believe all that stuff...?'
In Mark 8:27-30 and 14:26-31, Peter makes two vehement declarations of faith in Jesus.
Yet when it comes to the crunch, when the maidservant and the two men ask him if he is a friend of Jesus, Peter denies knowing him (Mark 14:66-72).
Have there been times when you have been embarassed to mention your own faith, or when you felt intimidated by the daily attacks on Christianity in the media?
What advice would you give to a person who feels discouraged in a situation like this?
Think about this, or discuss it with a group of friends.
In defense of a good man
When people talk about St Peter, they often focus on the incident during Jesus' trial, where Peter denied he knew Jesus.
Why do people focus on the negative, and overlook the positive?
Are you guilty of doing this yourself, in your dealings with family and friends?
Can you think of some instances when you did this?
Focus questions for the story of Peter
4. Is the story relevant in some way to your own life, or to the modern world?
What makes a good leader?
Peter was the leader of the group of men who followed Jesus (Mary Magdalene was the leader of the women's group)
What are the qualities a good leader needs?
Think of some of the groups you've been in. Who led? Who followed?
What qualities did these leaders have that
the cohesion of the group?
Try to remember some incident where you saw good leadership in action. Go over the details of this incident in your mind.
Step by step guide to a mediation on the story of Peter at Getting Up Again.
Many don't realise that after this failure of nerve, Peter spent the rest of his life making up for his mistake - and succeeding brilliantly.
Peter was indeed the Rock on which Christ's church was built. From Pentecost until the day of his death, Peter taught about Jesus and preached the Gospel.
He did not let his initial failure, his denial of Jesus, ruin his life. Rather, he built on it by turning his life around.
We can do the same when we make mistakes.
Read the material at Meditation on Peter, and follow Peter's example.
Paintings of Peter and Jesus
Read the story and ideas at Bible People: Peter
Go to the link at the bottom of the painting at right. Scroll through the paintings from first to last.
Which part of the story of Peter has been the most popular with artists?
Would this have been your choice?
Artists paint what they want to paint, but they also paint with their audience in mind. Look at the paintings again. Who is the painting directed at? Explain your reasoning.
If you have chosen something different, ask yourself why this other incident appeals to you more than the scene favored by the artists. Spend some time quietly thinking about your response.
Living up to our ideals
At the crucial moment in the courtyard of Caiphas' palace, Peter lost his courage. He denied knowing Jesus, the man he loved, admired and believed in.