Key Verse: “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours.” 2 Peter 1:1
Scripture records for us a very transparent picture of Peter’s life. He was a man marked by impulsive actions.
He has great moments of faith. For example, in Matthew 4:18-20, we read when Jesus called Peter and his brother Andrew to follow him “At once they left their nets and followed him.“ During the stormy sea, he says to Jesus in Matthew 14:28-29 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” When Jesus asked His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter immediately in Matthew 16:16 “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Within a few verses of this confession and being called blessed by Jesus, we find Peter rebuking Jesus (Matthew 16:22) and Jesus turning and saying to him in Matthew 16:23, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” What a difference a few verse can make.
How these moments resemble our life. We spend precious moments in God’s presence during our devotional time. We hear him speak to us through His Word and yet, within moments of leaving the house, we are cursing the bad driver in front. We sit through an amazing church service, and as soon as it’s finished we enter into gossip with the person sitting next to us. We like Peter change so quickly.
This is highlighted again in Peter denial of Jesus.In Matthew 26:33 Peter says, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” but by verse 75 he has disowned Jesus three times and weeps bitterly.
How often we also break our promises to God. We say something so truthfully at one moment and break it in the next. Ecclesiastes 5:5 warns us, “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” Yet, and time again we find ourselves bartering with God. “Lord if you do this for me, then I will ….” or in response to a conviction, we promise “never to do ….. again or say “from now on I will …. every day.” But so quickly we forget our promises and go back on our word.
Jesus graciously restores Peter and gives him the chance to declare his love as many time as he denied (see John 21). When Jesus returns to Heaven, and the Holy Spirit comes upon the church we already see a change in Peter. He preaches and expounds the Old Testament and in Acts 2:41 three thousand people accepted the message were baptized. In the days that follow, people recognize him as someone who has been with Jesus (Acts 4:13) In Acts 5:14-15 we read “more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.”
Peter continue through his life to be changed by God. God continue to shape his understand and use him powerfully. Peter continued to make mistakes, but God sustained him. What an incredible comfort for us, that God will continue to shape us and mould us into Christ image, even when we fail him. Scripture assures us, that like Peter, “we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18).