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The Fisherman and The Pharisee

Imagine if a highly and formally educated man with a PhD was assigned to work with, for example, a farmer. Even if the man's PhD was in agriculture, his perspective and developed attitudes would very likely be quite different than the man who actually went out and worked in the fields to produce crops. Although the two men could of course be friends, and could work together on a common project, it's not likely that they would ever be "buddies." They might be, but the odds are against it. That's just human nature. The man with the PhD might look down upon the "uneducated" farmer, while the farmer might look down upon the PhD who "knows a lot about book learning but little about real farming."

The Bible has a number of examples of people who fit the sort of contrast described in the paragraph above. Among them were the apostles Peter and Paul, a "blue collar" and a "suit" when it came to religion.

The Fisherman and The Pharisee

The Sea of Galilee Peter was a "working man," a fisherman, a man who got up early in the morning and went to work at hard labor. He had calluses on his hands and came home at the end of the day smelling of fish and sweat. He did not have much formal education, and yet he was chosen by Jesus Christ to be one of the twelve apostles - a position that will involve very high office in the future Kingdom of God.

"And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:18-19 KJV)

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13 KJV)

"And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Paul (see Paul's Ministry) was a "thinker," a highly educated and intelligent man, a teacher of religion (and a tent maker when money was short) - who was also chosen by Jesus Christ to be an apostle.

"I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day." (Acts 22:3 KJV)

"I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee" (Acts 23:6 KJV)

"And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven ... And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do." (Acts 9:3,6 KJV)

But were the apostles Peter and Paul "pals"? They loved each other as Christians, they were solidly together as Christians, but they were not close friends (although they both did seem to mellow, when comparing their earlier writings with their later writings). That will come later, when all of the human "baggage" has been left behind. Until then, Peter and Paul, from what is written in the Holy Scriptures, had a relationship that was often strained and tense.

Consider what their recorded encounters (much more is written by Paul in the Scriptures than by Peter (also known as Cephas), again, likely due to Paul having been more formally educated - Peter may actually have been somewhat illiterate, depending upon others to write for him; in one of his Epistles he says "By Silvanus ... I have written briefly" 1 Peter 5:12), and what they had to say about each other (their later writings were more moderate):

"even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood" (2 Peter 3:15-16 KJV)

"And when James, Cephas [i.e. Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars [i.e. "seemed to be pillars" seems to be a belittling personal remark by Paul that was not necessary for what he was teaching], perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision." (Galatians 2:9 KJV)

"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face" (Galatians 2:11 KJV)

"For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles [the later-comer Paul seemed to be expressing an "inferiority complex" toward the Twelve who were with the Messiah during His ministry]. But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things." (2 Corinthians 11:5-6 KJV)

Their common perspective was that both Peter and Paul were taught by Jesus Christ, and both were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. Both were later martyred - two very different men who didn't lose their lives for the Truth, but who found their lives in the Truth. And when they awaken at the resurrection at the time of Christ's return (see "To Meet The Lord In The Air") the differences that they had will be left behind.

Fact Finder: (a) Is Christianity "the body of Christ"? (b) Is Christianity like a body that depends equally upon all of its parts?
(a) 1 Corinthians 12:27 (b) 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

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