The more I read about Peter in the new testament and study his life journey with Christ, I continue to be amazed. My last blog was about selecting people to imitate. Paul challenged us to imitate him in Phil 3:17. In addition to Paul I suggest we look at Peter’s spiritual journey too.
Peter had the opportunity to hear about Jesus as the word and works about him spread. Maybe he heard John the Baptist’s comments or heard Jesus a few times while he was walking around the Sea of Galilee. It becomes personal to Peter when Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law in Luke 4.
Throughout Peter’s 3-year relationship with Jesus he’s being challenged, multiple times, by Jesus to follow him. At various times he is getting out of the boat to obey Jesus. Conversely Jesus does not give up on Peter even after a few abrupt misfires of not wanting Jesus to go to the cross and denying Christ at his trial.
That is what encourages me the most – Jesus did NOT give up on Peter. Peter recognized and accepted Jesus’ forgiveness and encouragement to take care of his sheep. As a result, Peter grew in courage and boldness as he received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and was used by God to establish his church among Jews and Gentiles.
Peter was not an overnight success. It took years of trials and growth. As such, it gives me encouragement too, that God is still at work in me.
Scott Bowers – Executive Director