The humbling reason Peter is my favorite apostle…

The humbling reason Peter is my favorite apostle: A word of encouragement for preachers during Advent by Jim Denison, PhD for Dennison Forum

I often say that Peter is my favorite apostle since we seem to share the same approach to life: If in doubt, talk. If you say enough, you might say something.

We see Peter implementing this flawed philosophy on the Mount of Transfiguration, for example, when he tried to give advice to the glorified Christ and was told by the Father to “listen to him” instead (Matthew 17:4–5). I have attempted this strategy on numerous occasions, preparing sermons and Bible studies and then asking God to bless what I planned to say.

The busy Christmas season is especially fertile ground for this defective homiletical strategy. I remember weeks during Advent when I was asked to bring a different message at Sunday school parties, musical events, and other gatherings seemingly every day. All the while, I felt the pressure of preparing to speak to the largest Sunday crowds we would see until Easter.

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However, I have learned from personal experience that the old adage is true: Don’t get ahead of God, for he may not follow. Listening to God before we speak for God is more vital to our calling than we might imagine.

Let’s learn that lesson today from one of the most courageous and impressive prophets in history.

“You are the man!”

Second Samuel 12 tells the familiar story of Nathan’s confrontation with King David over his affair with Bathsheba. From what I can tell, David’s coverup of the affair by arranging for the death of Bathsheba’s husband was not public knowledge.

When Nathan said to the all-powerful king, “You are the man!” (v. 7), it would seem he took his life in his hands. The monarch who essentially murdered Uriah, one of his “mighty men” (1 Chronicles 11:26, 41), could plausibly have arranged for Nathan’s death to cover up his sin as well.

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