Peter of Bethsaida: Have mercy on many

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Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:10

“Rich is the man who has mercy on many, and, imitating God, gives what he has. For God has given all things to all his crea­tion. Understand then, you rich, that you ought to minister, for you have received more than you yourselves need. Learn that others lack the things you have in superfluity. Be ashamed to keep things that belong to others. Imitate the fairness of God, and no one will be poor.”

“The Teaching of Peter” reported by Bart Ehrman in Lost Scriptures: Books That Did Not Make It Into The New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).

This is an example of a quote that did not make it into biblical text but ascribed to the apostle by the early church fathers. Specifically this quote comes to us from John of Damascus (c. 675 – 749).

In the early church, the idea of sharing mercy and resources went together. One person’s surplus was viewed as belonging to the person who had need.

I like how today’s Scripture from Peter fits with this quote attributed to him. One we were not a people, now we are the people of God. Once we had not receive mercy, now we have.

And this should change how we relate to people and possessions. I pray it inspires you rich to minister and to share the things you have in superfluity. Imitate the fairness of God as the people of God!

And no one shares and sacrifices and shows mercy like the mothers out there. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, my wife, sister, son’s wife, and all the mothers out there!