I don't want to harp on about it too much, but one of the faults in certain translations of Scripture is that the original words aren't simply translated from Ancient Greek to English, but that there is an interpretation of what was said. One of the great Christian mission societies is Wycliffe Bible Translators whose goal is to ensure that every language has its own translation of the Bible. One of the challenges for the translator is how greatly to be influenced by the culture as well as the language of the group he or she is translating for. For example, if the tribe has no knowledge of goats, as they are hidden in a jungle in the Amazon, then how can the parable of the sheep and goats be of challenge to them? Should a lot of time be spent telling these people about the characteristics of goats or could another animal be used in their place which is familiar to the tribe? I would consider verse fourteen here to be an over-translation in the NLT, which is otherwise a very good modern translation. Peter uses the picture of his body as a tent, which will soon be folded up and taken away, a beautiful and Biblically powerful image. The NLT informs the reader that Peter stated that he would soon die! Anyway...
I have often pondered what makes a Pastor. I think the title speaks for itself. When I was at Bible College, we had a teaching session from a couple of vicars who had been a few years into their job. They said that, for them, ninety percent of their working lives were spent on pastoral concerns. They warned that sermon preparation and services organisation time can easily be squeezed by the overwhelming need of Parishioners to receive support. I know of Ministers who do little or no pastoral work, I don't know how they do it. The pastoral work is where 'the rubber hits the road'. Everything is spiritual and spiritual means practical! We have three meal trains going on at Bearfield at present and what better way to show Christ's love for each other than to prepare meals for those who are struggling in our church community!
Peter the apostle, the man who led the inner group of disciples, the Twelve, knew what it was to lead Christ's flock with loving care and experienced the same concern and heartbreak as I do when one of you is struggling! Remember Christ's words to Peter recorded at the end of John's Gospel: ''Feed my sheep''.
So, Peter has been told by God that he is not long for this life. He terms his coming death as his 'exodos', the word used for the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt. Think back again to the end of the book of John and there Jesus predicted what kind of death Peter would endure: ''When you are old'', Jesus told Peter, ''you will stretch out your hands...'' and Peter would be martyred on a cross.