Fascinating Peter

The apostle Peter's life fascinates me.

From the day that Jesus approached Peter and said, “Follow me.” Peter did. He just dropped his net and followed him.

Peter was one of the three who escorted Jesus into the house of the little girl that died and Jesus rose from the dead.

He also was the one who, one minute had the right answer, Jesus is the Christ. And soon after he pulls Jesus aside and rebukes him for what Jesus is talking about. Jesus tells him to get behind him, Satan…

Still, Peter is one of the three who witnessed the transfiguration and was afraid and wanted to make a tabernacle for them.

And my favorite, it was Peter who got out of the boat and walked on water to Jesus. Yeah, he stopped focusing on Jesus and stopped walking. Instead he began to sink. But as soon as he called for help, Jesus hand was immediately there to help him. And then Jesus walked him back to the boat.

Peter just put himself out there in his walk with Jesus. And in putting himself out there he messed up quite a bit. But at least he followed the passion in his heart for Jesus. He didn’t sit in the boat like the others. He got out of it and experienced the power of God allowing him to actually walk on the water.

How amazing is that?

And Peter was the one who denied Jesus, not once, but three times. Jesus warned him he would, but Peter responded with a no way, I will not deny you. Jesus even warned him that Satan asked for permission to sift him, and that Jesus had prayed for him that when he returned he would strengthen his brethren.

After Peter denied Jesus the third time, Jesus made eye contact with him. How awful would a person feel in that situation?

And after he denied Jesus, he went and cried about it. Big time.

But when he heard Jesus rose from the dead, he didn’t let his failures stop his relationship with Jesus. Instead, he ran to the tomb.

Another time when they were out fishing all night and hadn’t caught anything, Jesus stood on the shore and told them to put the net on the other side of the boat. When the net got full of fish Peter recognized Jesus and dove in the water. He swam to shore to Jesus.

That scene really touches me.

His eagerness to be with Jesus and not ashamed to go to him, despite the last thing he did before Jesus died was deny him.

And Jesus was there for him. He asked Peter three times if he loved him. And all three times Peter said, yes. He wasn’t too happy about Jesus asking him three times, the Bible says he was grieved because he said to him the third time, Do you love me? And he answered him, “Lord, you know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus told him to feed his sheep and then told him what his death would be like.

Uh, eew, I wouldn’t want to hear that.

And typical Peter wanted to know what would happen to another disciple, but Jesus basically said, “What is that to you? You follow Me.”

And Peter did. The day of Pentecost he spoke to a crowd and three thousand people came to believe in Jesus as their Savior. He went on to do some powerful things in Jesus name. Even after being arrested, once he was set free he went right back out and kept telling people about Jesus.

Yeah, he wasn’t perfect even after that. But he has a powerful testimony.

Why?

To me, his life testifies how loving and merciful Jesus is. No matter how many times Peter failed, he got right back up and kept hanging with Jesus. And Jesus let him. Jesus included him in the group of three that seemed to witness certain special things that Jesus did.

I can see through his life, that Jesus is consistent with his love. Jesus is merciful, welcoming, and forgiving.

Not only does the Bible say, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1 but it shows it through the life of Peter.

The Bible also says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and true to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
It is obvious I can believe in how forgiving Jesus is just through this one life.

 I know it can be easier sometimes to just beat ourselves up. Like well, Peter didn’t get a divorce, Peter didn’t yell at his kids, Peter didn’t steal, Peter didn’t tear his whole family apart, or…..Peter made his own mistakes and Jesus forgave him, loved him and USED him to bring people to eternal salvation.

Wow. No matter what, if a person believes and walks with Jesus, walks in His love, who knows how he could use you in the life of others. No matter what kind of mistakes a person has made.

Bible references - NIV

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