Introduction: A number of years ago I read a horrible book by Dan Brown called “The Da Vinci Code.” The writing and suspense were not
bad, what was horrible was that it argued that the gospels had been rigged by the Catholic Church to suppress those which said that Jesus
was merely a good man. Instead, the Church had aided the publication of those gospels that announced that Jesus was God. I thought this
was extremely harmful because for the average person, who knows nothing about ancient history and little about the Bible, this would
be hard to disprove. The epistles of Peter that we are studying are not part of the gospels. Let’s dig into our study of Peter’s letters
and see what Peter (and others) say about the nature of Jesus!

  1. Founded on Jesus

    1. Read 1 Peter 1:1 and 2 Peter 1:1. What is consistent about how Peter identifies himself? (He says that he is an
      “apostle of Jesus Christ.”)

      1. When you hear speakers introduced, how do you think the introducer decides what to say about the speaker?

      2. When you introduce yourself to others, and you
        explain a little bit about yourself, how do you
        choose what to say? (In both situations, you are
        either stating the things that are most important
        about your life, or at least most important with
        regard to the audience.)

        1. What does this say about Peter’s view of Jesus?
          (That Jesus is the most important thing that
          happened to him.)

          1. Is that also true for you?

    2. Re-read the second half of 2 Peter 1:1. How is Jesus
      described? (“Our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”)

      1. How does Peter help us against the lies in the Da
        Vinci Code? (This is the good news. Dan Brown, and
        those that accept these lies, do not know the New
        Testament very well. The claim that Jesus is God is
        not simply in the gospels, it is in the entire New
        Testament. What we are reading in Peter is an example
        of this.)

    3. Read 1 Peter 1:18-21. What does this tell us was the
      reason why God instituted the sacrificial system found in
      the Old Testament? (It all pointed to Jesus.)

      1. How long has God had the plan to use Jesus to save us
        from our sins? (“Before the creation of the world!”)

      2. What does it mean that God “glorified” Jesus? (Read
        Colossians 1:13-19. Jesus has the “supremacy” above
        all things. Jesus created “all things” and through
        His power “all things hold together.” The “fullness”
        of God dwells in Jesus. Clearly, Jesus was not merely
        a good person.)

      3. Read Philippians 2:9-11. How does this explain that
        Jesus was glorified? (He is exalted to the highest
        place. “Jesus Christ is Lord.”)

  2. Honesty in Suffering

    1. Read 1 Peter 2:21-22. Another lie in the Da Vinci Code is
      that Jesus had sex with Mary and they raised a family. If
      you were going to lie about Jesus, is that a reasonable
      lie given the people that you know? (It sounds like what
      humans do.)

      1. Is what Peter writes in these verses a likely lie?
        Especially, if you wanted to convince someone that
        Jesus was God, is this the lie you would pick? (A
        suffering God is not the kind of lie I would make up.
        If I were going to make up a god, I would make up a
        triumphant god.)

      2. Consider this. If you wanted to trick people into
        following a false god, would you entice them by
        saying “you were called” to suffering? (No! This
        tends to prove the honesty of what Peter writes about

    2. Read 1 Peter 2:23-24. When Peter writes “his body on the
      tree,” to what does he refer? (Jesus’ crucifixion.)

      1. Is that a great way to entice followers? (This entire
        approach speaks to us of honesty. This is not how you
        would make up a story about a false god.)

  3. Messiah – New Testament

    1. Read 1 Peter 1:3-4. What remarkable claims does Peter make
      that distinguish Jesus from a mere man? (That He was
      resurrected from the dead, and that His death creates a
      reward for you in heaven.)

    2. Read 1 Peter 3:21-22. Who is in heaven, at “God’s right
      hand,” with “angels, authorities and powers in submission
      to Him?” (Jesus. This is another clear statement, outside
      the gospels, that Jesus is in authority in heaven.)

    3. Read Revelation 20:6. What does this say about Jesus’
      future? (It bolsters the statement that Jesus is an
      authority in heaven.)

    4. Read John 11:25-27. This is a gospel statement that,
      according to Dan Brown, was manipulated by the Catholic
      Church. How closely does it parallel the text in
      Revelation that we just read? How closely does it parallel
      what Peter is writing about Jesus in his letters?

  4. Messiah – Old Testament

    1. Read Psalms 2:2-4 and compare it with Acts 4:25-27. How
      does Acts interpret this prophecy in Psalms? (It says it
      is a prophecy about Jesus.)

    2. Read Daniel 9:25-26. I won’t get into the calculations
      here, but here we have another reference to the “Anointed
      One” as coming during a specific time. That time coincides
      with the time in which Jesus lived on earth. Did the
      Catholic Church exist during the time of the Babylonian
      kingdom ( Daniel 9:1-2)to manipulate the prophecies of
      Daniel? (Of course not!)

    3. Read Psalms 16:8-11 and compare Acts 13:35-38. How does
      Acts understand the text in Psalms 16? (It is yet another
      prophecy about Jesus.)

    4. Read Daniel 7:13-14 and compare Matthew 9:6. What
      authority was prophesied for Jesus to wield? (All
      authority. In Matthew 9 Jesus demonstrates to the people
      that He has authority to forgive sin.)

    5. Read Micah 5:2 and compare Matthew 2:1-6. Where did the
      Old Testament say that Jesus would be born?

    6. Let’s explore Dan Brown’s lie a bit further. If Brown is
      right that Jesus did not die, but rather got married and
      had many children, what should we conclude about these Old
      Testament prophecies? (Someone, born during the same time
      as Jesus, was supposed to be the Messiah. Where is that

      1. What must be Brown’s explanation about the Old
        Testament prophecies about an “Anointed One” who did
        the same things as Jesus did? (Brown’s thesis, as I
        understand it, is not that the Catholic Church wrote
        the gospels, but rather that it suppressed those that
        reported Jesus was merely a human. If this is true,
        it means that the accounts of Jesus that the Church
        supported coincidentally recorded actions of Jesus
        that matched the prophecies. That is, as they say, a
        bridge too far to cross. How would a false messiah do
        the same things as predicted in the Old Testament?
        This would only work if the current gospels were
        complete fabrications – made by people who had a
        clear understanding of the Old Testament prophecies.
        Why would anyone sincerely looking for the true
        Messiah fabricate a false messiah?)

  5. Your Spirit

    1. Read John 16:7-10. Would it be hard for pagans to fake
      this kind of instruction and prediction?

    2. Read Romans 8:5-9. What does this tell us about the
      experience of the believer that does not rely on the
      accuracy of the gospels? (It tells us that the Holy Spirit
      confirms our understanding of Jesus. It confirms Jesus’
      statement (in the gospels) that the Holy Spirit will come
      and work with us. This is independent proof that Jesus is
      God, He was not a mere man who lived and died like
      everyone else.)

    3. Friend, will you place your trust in Jesus as your Messiah
      and Redeemer? Dan Brown is not the first to argue that
      Jesus was not the Messiah. But, the proof for Jesus as
      Messiah comes from the Old Testament, is supported by the
      rest of the New Testament (outside the gospels), and is
      consistent with the accounts of Jesus’ life. In addition,
      if you have been a follower of Jesus, you have felt the
      guidance of the Holy Spirit in your life.

  6. Next week: Be Who You Are.