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Peter: Keys to Following Jesus Paperback – October 5, 2016
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"Tim Gray strolls through Scripture, walking alongside Peter, a great Apostle and model disciple. As you read, you will be caught up in the drama and glean insights and instruction for your daily life." --Steve Ray, Author of Upon this Rock: Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church
"Dr. Gray weaves together the scriptural, traditional, and archaeological evidence of the life of Peter--giving us a deep personal insight into the head Apostle--as if we are really there." --Fr. Robert Spitzer, Author of 5 Pillars of Catholic Spirituality and Finding True Happiness
"A Scripture scholar, expert on the Holy Land, and well acquainted with history and art, Tim Gray illustrates how everything in Peter's life points to the most important thing in all of life: intimacy and association with Jesus." --Curtis Martin, Founder of FOCUS
About the Author
Dr. Tim Gray is a nationally renowned Bible scholar, author and Catholic speaker. As the President of the Augustine Institute, he has greatly advanced the renewal of Catholic education through graduate studies in Scripture, Theology, and the New Evangelization. Dr. Gray is the author of Praying Scripture for a Change: An Introduction to Lectio Divina, Mission of the Messiah, and many other works.
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The seven encounters Peter had with Jesus were as follows:
1. Jesus recruiting Peter to be an Apostle after Peter was fishing all night
2. Jesus healing Peter's mother-in-law and setting up "headquarters" in Capernaum
3. Peter's lack of faith when he was out at sea and the storm came and failing to walk on water
4. Peter becoming the rock on which Jesus will build His Church
5. Peter being given the keys to the Kingdom
6. Peter's increasing leadership and his presence at the Transfiguration
7. Peter's failure and denial during Jesus' Passion
Each of these chapters was very interesting and made you stop and meditate on these different episodes in the life of Peter. We see growth in Peter, but we also see him fall and fail repeatedly too. However, he doesn't stay down and defeated. He goes back to Jesus, because he knows that Jesus is the only one who can save him. The most interesting chapter to me was actually the final one in this book, which focused on Peter's own passion. This chapter relies primarily on Church Tradition, and in it we see Peter fleeing Rome, because the Christians of Rome felt he was too important to be martyred and the Church needed him. As he was fleeing, he encountered Jesus on the road, who said that He was going to Rome to be crucified again (basically implying that Peter was abandoning Rome, but Jesus would not). This opened Peter's eyes and with Jesus' help (again), Peter realized what he needed to do. He went back to Rome and strengthened God's people, even though this ultimately led to Peter being crucified too.
Peter: Keys to Following Jesus is a very important work for any Christian to read. It doesn't paint us a picture of a perfect man, but instead we see a man, like us, who is flawed in nature, but struggling to do the right thing. However, with God's help, he was able to become a great saint and one of the pillars of the Catholic Church. If you are looking for a thoughtful and thought-provoking study on the life and ministry of Peter, I highly recommend this book to you.