Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 1, No. 12 Page 19 December 1999

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Christian Growth
and the Apostle Peter

By Andy Robison

The apostle Peter had humble beginnings as a follower of Christ.  Introduced to the Lord by his brother (John 1:40-42), Peter embarked on a three year quest that would change his life, as well as impact the history of Christianity and the world.  But it started from humble beginnings.

 Luke records his call to discipleship in the first eleven verses of Chapter Five.  On Simonís (Peterís) fishing boat, Jesus instructed that the nets be cast for a catch.  Peterís skepticism was overcome by obedience.  After a night of fish-less efforts, at the word of the Lord the nets were so full they were breaking.  Peter realized the Lordís power and admitted his rather humble position.  ďDepart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!Ē He then left everything and followed Jesus.

 Learning from the Master proved challenging for impetuous Peter.  Eager to walk on water with the Lord, he soon had to learn a lesson in faith and complete dependence (Matthew 14:22-33).  Even after confessing Jesus as the Son of God (Matthew 16:13-19), he had so much more to learn about Christís mission.  He, in error, rebuked Jesus for his self-sacrificing prediction of death (Matthew 16:21-23). He wanted to equally honor Moses, Elijah and Christ (Matthew 17:1-13).  He slept while Jesus prayed in agony (Matthew 26:36-46), then fought in a way Jesus did not intend to fight (John 18:10-11). Appropriately rebuked on all of these occasions, Peter learned that learning can be painful. Still, he boasted of his undying allegiance, then repeatedly denied association with the Lord (Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75).  The crowing of the rooster and the look from his Divine Friend cut him to the core of the soul  (Luke 22:60-62).

 Peter, though, was not one to give up (as Judas, who hanged himself [Matthew 27:3-5]).  Following a post-resurrection restoration talk with Jesus (John 21:15-19), Peter got about the business of boldly proclaiming the risen Lordís message (Acts 3-10).  Never afraid to charge even authorities with their wrongs, (Acts 2:23,36; 3:14,15; 5:29-32), he no longer constantly wavered in faith.  His impetuousness was now directed toward on the spot defenses of Christianity (Acts 2, 3, 10).  Although not perfect (Galatians 2:11-21), he had grown to become the ďrockĒ Jesus said he would (John 1:40-42).

 The drama of Peterís life is singular, but his growth pattern indicative of so many.  Introduced by family and friends to the Lordís teachings, so many overcome faithlessness and faults to grow into great servants of the Master.  It starts with humility, though, and a willingness to learn.  May we together humbly obey the Saviorís will.

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