Lent Series: Peter, the Rock and the Stumbling Block

David Anderson
8 min readMar 26, 2022

When I was twelve or thirteen, I thought Jesus’ personality was probably like Mister Rogers. If you don’t remember, he had a popular children’s television show in the seventies, eighties, and nineties.

https://youtu.be/mSbYQz3rluM

His manner was always gentle and kind. He never raised his voice. He was always sympathetic and compassionate. If you were feeling sad, angry, hurt, or frustrated, he could offer some constructive ways to cope with it. The way things are going in America now, I think we need someone like that, not just for kids but for adults, too.

I’d like to nominate Jesus for that, but I can’t. He is called compassionate in the Gospels, and most of the time he was. But as I first started studying the Bible seriously, it felt like he could be a little mean sometimes. Like when he said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!”

Did he just call Peter the devil? If Peter needed to be reprimanded, Mister Rogers would have found a more tactful way to do it. I remember the first time I read it, at the tender age of twelve or thirteen, how hurt I would be if he said that to me. I didn’t see what happened before and after that. All I could see was Jesus equating his most faithful follower with his worst enemy.

As I’ve grown older, I have gained experience to help make sense of it. And also, I learned to read not only this but everything in the Bible in context. That has taken the sting out of it, and I think I’m beginning…

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David Anderson

David Anderson is a blogger, award-winning author, bible geek, and novice crypto investor. Doubting Thomas is my patron saint.