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Simon Peter. The man who became a rock
Scripture
Matthew 10:1-5
The Twelve Disciples; Instructions for Service
10 Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority and power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
2 Now these are the names of the twelve [a]apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives): first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, his brother; [b]James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew (Nathanael); Thomas and Matthew (Levi) the tax collector; [c]James the son of [d]Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus (Judas, not Iscariot);
4 Simon the Cananaean (Zealot), and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.
5 Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them: “Do not go among the Gentiles, and do not go into a city of the Samaritans;
Introduction
When I get to heaven one of the first people I want to meet is Peter. There is just something about him.
I don’t know if I would feel at home with John, who was strong and loving, or Paul, who was brilliant and unbending, but I think Hanging with Peter would be awesome. He was a mixture of strength and weakness, of courage and cowardice, of faith and doubt, and of wisdom and foolishness.
Galileans, like Peter, were often quick tempered, quarrelsome, impulsive, courageous, emotional, and quickly roused to adventure.
Mark 1:16-17. Tells us
As Jesus was walking by the shore of the [a]Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon [Peter] and Simon’s brother, [b]Andrew, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “[c]Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.”
So, Peter was a fisherman who left his nets to follow Jesus,
1 Corinthians 9:5 tells us Peter was married.
Have we not the right to take along with us a believing wife, as do the rest of the apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas (Peter)?
We also know that Peter lived in Capernaum, which was probably Jesus’ headquarters at the time.
Mark 1:29-31 tells us that Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law there.
This was while Jesus was Healing the Crowds
29 And immediately they left the synagogue and went into the house of Simon [Peter] and Andrew, accompanied by James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they told Him about her. 31 Jesus went to her, and taking her by the hand, raised her up; and the fever left her, and she began to serve them [as her guests].
Peter was the leader of the apostles. Matthew 10:2 says Now these are the names of the twelve [a]apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives): first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, his brother; [b]James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
So Peter was the “first” in this case first means the “chief”
He was not the kind of leader most of would want today, a smooth promoter, a skilful organiser, a guy that everyone likes.
He would seem more like the guy that would blow up instead of build the church.
Yet in every list of the twelve, Peter is mentioned first, (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13)
Peter had four names. He was called Simon in Mark 1:16. As Jesus was walking by the shore of the [a]Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon [Peter] and Simon’s brother, [b]Andrew, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen.
And Matthew calls him Simon, called Peter. He was also called Simeon in Acts 15:14.
14 [a]Simeon (Simon Peter) has described how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name [to honor Him and be identified with Him].
You will remember that Jesus gave him a new name, Peter in Mark 3:16
He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter),
The Greek and Aramaic word for Peter is Cephas. Most people had two names in that day, their own names in their own language and their Greek names, since everyone spoke Greek. But then here was Peter with four names.
Jesus called him “the Rock”
Peter resembled clay more than he did a rock
A rock is firmly set, solid, immovable, and silent.
Peter shifted easily and was never silent.
He had clay feet, hands, and tongue.
He had many weaknesses and made many mistakes.
In Simon’s becoming a rock, we see the depths and the heights to which God’s creative love will go in making a life.
Jeremiah compared humans to clay being moulded by the hand of God.
Few characteristics of rock appear in Peters early life.
He talked too much.
The first time Jesus foretold His coming death by way of the cross, Peter was horrified and protested loudly. Jesus rebuked him.
Peter was a loudmouth, he has been known as the “mouthpiece of the apostles”
He was overconfident.
One night a violent storm arose on the sea. All the disciples thought they would die.
When they looked out of the boat they saw Jesus walking towards them on the water, and Peter replied to Him, “Lord, if it is [really] You, command me to come to You on the water.”
As we know Peter started walking on the water. He then looked around, saw the waves, and began to sink.
When the disciples were sitting at the last supper in the upper room, Jesus made a prediction,
“You will all fall away because of Me this night [disillusioned about Me, confused, and some even ashamed of Me], for it is written [in the Scriptures], ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Peter spoke up, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And all the disciples said the same thing.
His overconfidence and ego are evidences of his weakness and frailty.
If we could only know ourselves! Pride is a great deceiver, and many of us have fallen because we were self sufficient.
Peter misunderstood the way of Christ
Judas and the soldiers came to the garden of Gethsemane with lanterns and torches and weapons.
Judas said, “Hail, Rabbi,” and kissed Him. One soldier reached out to take Jesus, and Simon Peter pulled his sword and cut the soldiers ear off.
He probably wasn’t aiming at his ear, however, he was trying to cut off his head.
What courage and strength!
Yet Jesus rebuked him because he misunderstood the ways of the kingdom.
Peter was impulsive
One evening the disciples began fighting about who was the greatest in the kingdom.
Jesus got up from supper, took off His [outer] robe, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He tied it around His waist.
5 Then He poured water into the basin and began washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with the towel which was tied around His waist.
6 When He came to Simon Peter, he said to Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied to him, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will [fully] understand it later.”
8 Peter said to Him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me [we can have nothing to do with each other].”
9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, [in that case, wash] not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”
10 Jesus said to him, “Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, and is completely clean. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you.”
John 13:4-10 (AMP)
Peter and Joh ran towards the resurrection tomb on Easter morning.
John outran Peter; and when he got to the mouth of the tomb he stopped, but Peter just bolted straight in to see what was there.
What an impulsive, spur of the moment, variable creature Peter was.
He was a high – low personality, capable of great heights and great depths!
He was like so many of us.
One day we are on a mountain top, the next day we are in the valley.
Jesus called Peter a rock, but Peter seemed to be more like clay, so weak, so variable, so impulsive, so changeable, so full of faults.
How did he grow and develop into a rock?
Peter became a rock
Negatively we can say three things
1.Peter became a rock because he did not become offended by a strong rebuke.
Peter could take a severe rebuke and remain loyal.
2. Peter did not let failure ruin him.
Jesus was on trial in the courtroom. Peter stood outside warming himself by the fire.
Matthew 26:69-70 (AMP) tells us.
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came up to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.”
After three denials a rooster crowed just as Jesus had prophesied.
Peter failed, but he did not let a failure ruin him. He came back.
3. Peter did not quit because of disappointment.
He was disappointed in Jesus. He thought he was to be an earthly Messiah who would lead great battalions.
He thought Jesus would overthrow the Roman Empire and free the Jewish people from bondage.
He was disappointed, but he dd not quit.
Positively, think of some reasons Peter became a rock
1.Peter dedicated himself to God. On the morning the resurrected Jesus made breakfast on the beach, in John 21:15-17 (AMP) it talks of The Love Motivation
15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these [others do—with total commitment and devotion]?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I [a]love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Feed My lambs.” 16 Again He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with total commitment and devotion]?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with a deep, personal affection for Me, as for a close friend]?” Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you [really] [b]love Me [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend]?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend].” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
Peter had passed the love test. He promised to be true and to shepherd the flock.
2. Peter gave everything he had in the service of God.
After he was filled with the Holy Spirit at the day of pentecost he held nothing back. He preached the message of God, and three thousand were saved.
Peter’s Sermon started clearly.
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be explained to you; listen closely and pay attention to what I have to say. Acts 2:14 (AMP)
3. Peter was courageous in the midst of opposition.
When Peter and John were arrested and warned not to preach again, at the risk of their lives, they went back out saying, “We must obey God rather than human beings!”
Peter was courageous in the face of trials and difficulties.
4. Peter was a man of missionary vision. In Acts 10 we see him opening the door of the gospel to the Gentiles. He saw the universal reach of the gospel.
5.Peter laid down his life for Christ. According to tradition, he died a martyr for his faith.
He was probably crucified just like Jesus.
Conclusion
As Peter, a man of clay with evident weaknesses, became a rock of strength by following Christ, so can we become strong, secure disciples if we are willing to commit to what God has for us.
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
There’s nothing that’s too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
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