Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Peter, Fisher of Men

I am so looking forward to studying First and Second Peter with the women of Christ Baptist Church. Last night at our monthly Grace Group kickoff we were introduced to the books of Peter after sharing in some fun food and fellowship. I am already encouraged by this ministry and am excited to grow and learn alongside such Godly women.
Somewhere along the way I have set down my awe of Peter and his great influence on the work of the Gospel. Last night I was freshly astonished and WOWED by his faith, boldness, doubt, triumph and confidence in Christ. Taking Carol's lead, I want to share just a few of the many(more than 100!)significant occurrences of "Peter" in the New Testament:

*In Matthew 4 Jesus calls Peter, a fishermen, to follow him & be a "fisher of men."
*In Matthew 14 it was Peter who boldly stepped out of the boat and walked towards Jesus on the water... "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. He said, 'Come.' So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out,'Lord, save me.' Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?' And when they got into the boat,the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, Truly you are the Son of God."
*In Matthew 16 Peter declares Jesus as the Christ. Jesus asks "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" and Peter answers "You are the Christ, the son of the Living God."
*Jesus says to Peter in Matthew 16:18 "And I tell you,you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church"
*In Matthew 16:21 Jesus tells his disciples that he must suffer and be killed, and then rise again on the third day. Peter rebuked him and said "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you." Jesus replies "Get behind me, Satan!
*In John 13 Peter can't comprehend the savior humbling himself to wash his feet, but when Jesus answers him, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me," Peter replies "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!"
*In Matthew 17 Jesus took Peter, along with James and John, to the mountain of transfiguration
*In Matthew 18 Peter is the one to ask how often one should forgive, Jesus answers 70 x 7
*Peter says in Matthew 26 "Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away" and "Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you."
*In John 18 it is Peter who cuts the servant's ear off when they try to arrest Jesus.
*In Matthew 26 just before the Crucifixion Peter denies Christ 3 times, just as it was foretold. He weeps bitterly after declaring "I do not know that man."
*In John 21 when Peter is fishing with John and they see the risen Christ, Peter is overjoyed, jumps into the sea and swims toward Jesus!
*We see Peter's 3 fold forgiveness in John 21 when Jesus asks him three times "Do you Love Me" Peter resounds Yes each time.
*In Acts 2 Peter boldly delivers the sermon at Pentecost that "cuts to the heart" all those who heard
*In Acts 3 Peter heals the lame beggar saying "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!"
*In Acts 9 Peter raises a girl, Tabitha, from he dead
*In Acts 10 Peter is given the vision of nothing being unclean, symbolizing that there is no "Jew" and "Gentile" in Christ, but all are one, thus paving the way for Paul's ministry to the Gentiles
*In Acts 12, an Angel of the Lord rescues Peter from prison

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13

There is so much more! I am particularly moved by Peter's fierce Love for the Son-he is passionate and bold, he does not wait but jumps out of his boat to swim towards his risen savior! Though he clearly doubted and wavered, he repented and believed. His example to others was clear-this man had been with Jesus.

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