2 Peter 1:1 “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ:”
Now we know Peter was an imminent Apostle. He was a good man, and from the first, Peter often did bold things….yet by it, would run into trouble.
He often spoke hurriedly, out of his heart’s emotion…and would trip himself up with his words.
He left all to follow Christ…Matthew 4:18-20…his livelihood….and his father.
He came out on the sea to walk to Jesus….during a storm….when Jesus sent them across the Sea of Galilee….Matthew14:28-31….though he became afraid as he looked at the waves…and began to sink (both in faith and in the water)…
He saw Jesus transfiguration on the mountain,……and had to say something!
He spoke of building tabernacles for Elijah, Moses and Jesus…..”for he did not know what to say..”….Mark 9:2-7
(And do we not open our mouths to say “something”, we hope is spiritual, when what we need to do is hear Jesus)
He declared in faith that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God (Matthew 16:13-17)…..
….then turned around and told the Lord that what He was saying about His death was not going to happen….Matthew 16:21-23
(And how many times we trust in the Lord…until it is something we do not like)
He swore he would never be offended because of knowing Jesus and said he would never deny Him….Matthew 26:33-35…but he did.
He slept when he should have stayed awake and prayed….and is surprised when Jesus is betrayed….even though Jesus had warned him….
First, he pulls a sword and cuts off an ear, which Jesus healed (Luke 22:50-51)…..then he ran with all the disciples when Jesus let them take Him…Matthew 26:56
…..then he followed “afar off” with John, which went to the high priest’ palace to see what would happen…..but then denied the Lord three times, even before a young girl….Luke 22:55-62.
Peter is one of the first disciples, again with John, at the empty tomb (Luke 24:12)….yet a while later he says….”I go a fishing”….and goes back to fishing at Galilee….John 21:3
(What of us? After a failure, do we become despondent….and feel our witness useless?)
He was with Jesus for three full years…seeing miracles, and hearing Christ’s Words….
….he truly believed in Jesus as the Christ…
….yet, in himself, he was weak…..easily blown around by circumstances…..and emotions….
…and are not we the same, as Peter?
Ephesians 4:14 “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”
At the Sea of Galilee, he is forgiven by the resurrected Jesus…..three times he denied the Lord….three times he told the Lord he loved Him. (John 21:15-17)
Restored, he does what he is told and waits for the Holy Spirit back at Jerusalem….where they are to stay till He empowers them (Acts 1:8)…..
….for forty days…he, and they…wait and pray…
….but then, on the day of Pentecost, after the Holy Ghost is given……it is Peter that stands up…..before the thousands gathered (yes, that could easily be a crowd to crucify him)….
….and speaks boldly of Christ Jesus….before them all….as Lord and Christ.
Acts 2:23-24, 32-33, 36, 38 “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be held of it.
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Wherefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
That is laying the truth out before thousands….a crowd that could have taken and destroyed him….
…..yet under the power of God, many repented and believed.
What is the difference in Peter?
The Holy Spirit in him.
Jesus said about the Spirit:
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
This power, by the Holy Spirit, is what Peter received…..and went and used….being used in Jerusalem to lead the church at first….Acts 5:12-15
….he was sent down to Samaria to confirm the converts there…Acts 8:14-15
….then he went out and lead the first Gentiles to Christ….Acts 10
…..he wrote as a “servant and apostle of Jesus Christ”, that grace and peace would be multiplied unto them…”through the knowledge of God and our Savior Jesus Christ”
2 Peter 1:12-13 “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;”
…ending, with his last word for Christ Jesus…
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
Peter had done that….he had grown in the grace given him…..
…..weak in himself,….forgiven by Christ….he had received the Holy Spirit….and grown strong in the Lord.
More than the other Apostles….Peter is like us….(me, at least)
bold one moment and a coward then next;
loving of Christ, yet a failure;
full of things to say, but often “sticking his foot in his mouth”;….
…yet, his faith and love of Christ was real….and when he received the Holy Spirit….he went out, in obedience to Him….and witnessed, ministered, and encouraged his people to believe and love the Lord.
What of us? We are weak in ourselves….like Peter; forgiven by Christ, having received the Holy Spirit…
…but are we growing in grace….and in more knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord?