It is a striking comparison.
In the first picture, Peter Denying Christ, by Rembrandt, we behold that moment when the apostle, overwhelmed and crushed with bewilderment, denies his Lord out of fear. Matthew recounts it thus, “After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.’ Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, ‘I do not know the man.’ And immediately the rooster crowed.”
All courage was lost when inquisitive looks and prying questions confronted him.
In the second picture, The Crucifixion of Saint Peter, by Caravaggio, we see the apostle at the end of his life, many years after that fateful night, being nailed upside down on a cross. After having been forgiven by his Lord and filled with the Spirit, a new courage surged through his soul, leading him to preach boldly, shepherd sweetly, and ultimately, according to tradition, die a martyr’s death.
We all, like Peter, need courage in ministry. We need our weak knees and trembling hands steadied. We need grace and conviction. And sometimes we need to hear a good sermon, one exhorting and encouraging us to remain steadfast in the face of opposition.
Here recently, I finished Ben Patterson’s lecture/sermon on courage in ministry, and I must say that I found it wonderfully encouraging and interesting. I especially enjoyed the stories he shared about his time at Hope College. I found them riveting. And I think you will as well.
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Must Listen Factor: I really enjoyed this, and so I’m tempted to give it a “Must Listen” grade… You know what? I’m gonna do it. Let’s go ahead a slap a must listen on this puppy. Yes, it’s directed towards pastors, but I think everyone can take something away from it.
To Download: Click one of the pictures.