The Lectionary Text--in Art


This week's text from Matthew 16:13-20 says, When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
Artists have been depciting Peter and the stories that surround Peter for many generations.
This tempera painting of Peter is by Marco Zoppo who painted it in the 1400's and it hangs in the US National Gallery.

This work is by Jan Richardson and you can read more about her interpretation at The Painted Prayerbook.

When you look at these pieces of art and think about the Word you might also ponder:

  • what title would you give the art?
  • what feeling do the colors give you?
  • what does the artist want you to think/feel about what is in the artwork?
  • what does this art mean to you?

We respond to art in personal ways. These two very different works can both serve a purpose in relating to the lectionary text this week. How wonderful that have such a wealth of art to respond to.