In the days of my childhood there was a musical group called Peter, Paul and Mary. They represented a genre of music referred to as folk music. If you remember this group then you have dated yourself. Welcome to the 60s! And by that I am referring not only to the decade of the 60s but also to the fact that you likely are at least 60 years of age if you remember this trio.
I’d like to take a look at a different threesome today. Peter, Paul and John were the penmen for the majority of the New Testament. They wrote all but seven of the New Testament books.
Peter is sometimes called the apostle of hope. Hope is a key word in his 1st epistle. He writes a letter of hope and encouragement to those saints dealing with trials and suffering persecution. He begins the letter of 1 Peter reminding them that their hope is a living Hope.
Blessed be the GOD and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3
Peter knew about suffering and trials. John 21:18, 19 tells us that Peter was told by the Lord that he would suffer a martyr’s death. He likely was referring to this in 2 Peter 1:14.
In the second case, let us consider Paul. Paul could be called the apostle of faith. This penman of 13 books of the New Testament mentions the word faith in every one of those books. Even in the one chapter book of Philemon, with only 25 verses, faith is mentioned twice. Faith is addressed in the book of Romans more than any other New Testament book. It is here we learn the origin of our faith.
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of GOD. Rom 10:17
Paul also knew about suffering and trials. He wrote four of his epistles from a prison cell and eventually was put to death by the Romans.
Finally, we consider John whom we will refer to as the apostle of love. In the New Testament, the two books containing the most references to love are the epistle of 1st John and the gospel according to John. The following two passages will serve as examples of his use of the concept of love.
For GOD so loved the world that He gave His only His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
He who does not love does not know GOD, for GOD is love. 1 John 4:8
There is another reason we could identify John as the apostle of love. On several occasions he is identified as the disciple whom Jesus loved. (John 21:20ff)
Secular history tells us John was the only apostle not to face a martyr’s death. But he knew about suffering and trials having spent time in exile on the island of Patmos. It was here he received and recorded the Revelation.
The trio of Peter, Paul, and John, is a great Biblical threesome indeed. And you may have noticed, with them we have the great trio of faith, hope, and love. Refer to a blog titled Faith, Hope and Love, posted on September 15, 2018, for a further look at these three.
We learn much about faith, hope, and love, from Paul, Peter, and John. May our lives be characterized by faith, hope, and love as well.