From the time we’re born until we die, life will be filled with emotional
highs and lows.
One minute we’re on top of the world; feeling good about something we’ve
accomplished, and the next minute we may fail miserably at a task
we were sure we could easily do.
Studying the lives of people in the Bible, gives us hope and helps us to
prepare for our own tests and challenges.
When Jesus began his ministry he chose ordinary men to be his disciples
and closest friends.
Among those chosen was a man names Simon Peter.
He first came to know Jesus through his brother Andrew.
Andrew and Peter were fishermen; but when Jesus asked them to follow
him, they left their fishing business to become fishers of men.
Peter experienced many highs and lows being a friend and disciple of Jesus.
At one point he had so much faith he could walk on water.
Peter was told he would be the rock on which Christ would build his church,
so perhaps at times he thought he was invincible.
He loved Jesus deeply, but when Jesus began talking about dying…
Peter called him out and said…Lord, this shall not happen to you!
Jesus then replied…Get behind me Satan!
This would have been very embarrassing to Peter, to be referred to an instrument
of Satan in front of his friends.
Prior to Jesus being taken into custody, Jesus warned Peter, Satan desired to sift him
like wheat and he would deny Jesus.
To this Peter replied…I’m ready to die with you and I will not deny you!
Jesus warned Peter to be careful and when he failed he should strengthen his brothers.
It would have been difficult for Peter to be told this in front of his friends and closest companions
that he would fail.
It probably hurt his feelings deeply to hear criticism from the Lord.
When Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked Peter and 2 other disciples
to pray with him.
Jesus was in agony and tormented by what he was asked by his heavenly Father to do,
and wanted encouragement and support.
Instead, his closest friends fell asleep, and were no comfort at all.
When the enemies arrived in the garden to take Jesus into custody, Peter quickly
ran to his defense and cut off one of the soldier’s ears.
Instead of praising Peter, he lovingly healed the man’s ear, and told him to put down
As Jesus was led away, Peter followed behind, wondering what would happen to his friend.
He’d seen Jesus do many miracles during the last 3 years, and perhaps thought he had another
miracle up his sleeve and would escape.
Instead, he watched him be beaten and led away by the enemy.
As Peter watched in horror, he was questioned by several people as to whether he was a disciple
He denied knowing Jesus, and at one point even cursed to make his point.
When the rooster crowed, Peter remembered the words and warnings of Jesus.
Before the cock crow, though shalt deny me thrice.
And he went out, and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75
As he looked into his friend’s eyes, he felt ashamed and very sad.
Jesus was led away to be crucified for the sins of his enemies, Peter, and all people
who would ever live on earth.
When Jesus rose from the grave, he told Mary to go and tell his disciples and Peter
he had risen.
By asking for Peter expressly by name, Peter knew he’d been forgiven by his friend.
Peter could have lived in regrets or self-pity all his life, or committed suicide like
Judas did…but instead forgave himself and accepted the mercy of Jesus.
He would go on to write part of the Bible for us to learn from today.
He spent the rest of his life sharing the good news of forgiveness to the world,
and many people’s lives were changed by his witness and testimony.
Peter didn’t live a life of ease and at times he was beaten and imprisoned.
At the end of his life, he was crucified up-side down, but he knew a wonderful
place was reserved for him in heaven.
The Bible reveals to us the successes and failures of many people.
They got angry, did stupid things, were betrayed and rejected by others
at various points in their lives.
They weren’t perfect, but when they gave their life to God, he did amazing
things through them, they could never accomplish on their own.
Perhaps today, you’re struggling to understand some things that are happening
in your life.
You may have been mistreated or bullied by friends or family.
Maybe you made some horrible mistakes in your life, and don’t think God
could ever forgive or use you.
Beloved, Peter showed us the good, the bad, and the ugly things that happened
to him, so we could learn from his mistakes, and hopefully not make some of them.
Jesus told him, when he failed, to strengthen his brothers…and he has by the words he
left us in the Bible.
God loves you and has a plan for your life.
You are fearfully and wonderfully created in the image of your heavenly Father.
You may have mistakes, we all have…but he can take the mess in your past and
turn it into something meaningful and amazing.
Ask for forgiveness and forgive yourself.
All who call upon the name of the Lord, will be saved.
Father, how grateful we are for the stories of Peter and the other disciples.
Thank you Jesus for dying for our sins, and taking the punishment we deserved.
Forgive us and help us to forgive ourselves. Take our mistakes and turn them
into powerful testimonies to share with the world, to bring them to faith in you.
In your name we ask it. Amen
Have a beautiful and blessed day!