The Apostle Peter was a Galilean fisherman who lived on the shores of the Sea of Galilee with his wife, his brother Andrew and his mother-in-law. People at the time worked as a family unit, so the men and women of Peter’s family worked together to catch and preserve/dry fish for export to the surrounding towns. This particular family was probably in partnership with Zebedee and his sons, James and John (Matthew 4:21).
Like his father and brother Andrew, Simon The Apostle Peter was a fisherman by trade, working on the Lake of Galilee. His family seems to have been caught up in the revival movement led by John the Baptist. Peter met Jesus at Bethany through his brother Andrew, and was immediately impressed. Jesus called him ‘Peter’, the rock – an odd choice of name since Peter seems to have been passionate and impulsive rather than rock-like. Note: Jesus actually called Peter ‘Cephras’, which is the Aramaic equivalent of ‘Petros’, a rock. (Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20).
Peter along with James and John were the three that were in Jesus’s inner circle as we like to call it. Because, we have learned by studying the scriptures is that just because it doesn’t mention any of the other disciples doesn’t mean that they were not present. That’s something that doesn’t change the miraculous things Jesus did in the Bible. That is something God doesn’t mention. John wrote in his gospel that Jesus did many other things but, weren’t all written (John 21:25).
Jesus Heals The Mother-in-Law of Peter
Not surprising was that The Apostle Peter was bowled over by Jesus. Peter and Andrew already knew Jesus before they we called to follow Him (John 1:35-42). When he had only known Jesus a short time, Peter witnessed first-hand an unforgettable healing.
His wife’s mother was ill with a fever, apparently bad enough to cause concern. Jesus went to her, took her by the hand and lifted her up. The fever vanished immediately. Not only was she cured – she was strong enough to get up and cook for the visitors to her house, and serve up the sabbath meal after the synagogue service. Peter witnessed this and a lot more miracles during his time with Jesus.
Jesus Walks On Water
Peter walked with Jesus all through the three years of Jesus’ traveling ministry – rock-like in his steadfast loyalty. He witnessed all the major events of this extraordinary time. One night Jesus was on the shore while the disciples, including Peter, were out on the Lake of Galilee. The weather was stormy, the water rough. Suddenly the men in the boat saw a figure walking towards them over the water. It was Jesus.
They shouted in fear, thinking it was some evil spirit. It was not. Jesus called to them not to be afraid. Peter, relieved and always impetuous, called out to Jesus that if Jesus wanted, Peter would walk towards him on the water. Jesus called for him to come, and Peter stepped out onto the water.
As long as he kept his focus on Jesus he was safe, but when he noticed how stormy the water was, he began to sink into the water. This happens to us sometimes when we have problems or get sick. We lose our focus on Jesus our healer, our provider. No matter what tribulations may come at us we need to remember what Jesus said in (John 16:33). Peter called to Jesus for help. Jesus held out his hand and pulled him up to safety. (Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, John 6:16-21).
How many of us would have the courage to step out of the boat we are (our comfort zone) to follow Jesus. God the Father wants everybody to have that courage but, we just have prayed so, that He can bring it out of us. Our number one way to speak to our Father in Heaven is by Prayer.
Peter At The Transfiguration of Jesus
This was a momentous event in Jesus’ life. Peter had just proclaimed his belief that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus, Peter, James and John became separated from the others and went up onto the flat summit of a mountain. Something happened there that the disciples tried haltingly to explain to the others later on: Jesus had been transformed, and at the same time the figures of Moses (the Law) and Elijah (the Prophets) appeared talking with him.
They experienced something like a voice that came from nowhere and everywhere, telling them that Jesus was the Son of God, chosen by God and now revealed to them. Peter later wrote, For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the excellent glory: ‘This Is My Beloved Son In Whom I Am Well Pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the Holy mountain (2 Peter 1:16-18). Peter, always enthusiastic, wanted to put up tents or bowers, but Jesus gently restrained him.
Peter and the other disciples did not understand what all this meant until after the Resurrection.
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread Jesus sent Peter and John (Luke 22:8) to go and prepare the Passover meal. Jesus instructed the two disciples to enter Jerusalem and meet a man carrying a pitcher of water.
The house he enters say to the owner ‘The Teacher Asks: where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ The person would take them upstairs to a large room where it was already prepared. This is where Peter and John were to prepare the meal.
At the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of each of his disciples. Peter objected to having his feet washed by someone he venerated, but Jesus insisted. Jesus taught them a good lesson about being humble. Jesus was the modern servant and he showed His servant attitude to His disciples.
We must all have the servant attitude because, if our Lord came down from his Throne to serve us then why do we have such a hard time doing it ourselves (Matthew 20:28). Jesus also predicted that his disciples would scatter and flee when danger threatened. But Peter contradicted him, assuring Jesus and the other disciples that even if everyone deserted, he would remain faithful to the end. (Matthew 26:30-35, Mark 14:26-31, Luke 22:31-34, John 13:1-38).
Jesus Washing Disciples Feet
Peter Realizing His Denial Of Jesus
Peter At Gethsemane
The Apostle Peter was with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his death. When the soldiers tried to arrest Jesus, Peter unsheathed his sword and swung it at the head of one of them, a slave of the High Priest called Malchus. He missed, but cut off the ear of the unfortunate man. (John 18:10-11, Matthew 26:47-56, Mark 14:43-52, Luke 22:47-53).
After Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was taken to the house of Caiaphas the High Priest. This was an official residence with an open central courtyard. The Apostle Peter was there, waiting outside while Jesus was being questioned.
Up until this point, The Apostle Peter was being true to his word: he was staying by Jesus when the others fled. But someone, a woman servant, recognized him as a follower of Jesus, and challenged him. Peter took fright and said three times that he did not know Jesus.
At once, he was bitterly sorry for his own weakness. (Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:56-62, John 18:25-27).
Peter At The Resurrection
When Mary Magdalene burst into the room where the disciples huddled and announced that Jesus had risen from the dead, Peter and the much younger John did not hesitate. They took off running as fast as they could towards the tomb. John outpaced Peter and arrived first.
But as soon as Peter arrived, he went straight into the tomb, alone. There was no-one there – just a cloth lying where the body of Jesus had been.
Peter and John Running To The Tomb Of Christ
Peter Is Imprisoned, And Escapes
After Pentecost, Peter began a whole new phase of his life. Inspired, he began telling anyone who would listen about Jesus of Nazareth. He was, in effect, the father of early Christianity. It was not an easy path. The early Christians were hunted and imprisoned by Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great (who slaughtered the Innocents at the time of the birth of Jesus).
Peter too was imprisoned, but the Christian communities prayed and God set him free: an angel of the Lord appeared, the chains fell off his wrists, and Peter followed the angel out of the prison cell. (Acts 12:1-11).
Peter along with the other apostles including Paul were out spreading the gospel as Jesus instructed. They were out teaching in the synagogues and they were the instruments that God used to start the church.
The Death of St Peter
There is no sure description of St Peter’s death in the New Testament, but traditionally he is supposed to have died in Rome during the persecution begun by the Emperor Nero. It was said he was crucified, like Jesus, but upside down. With that, he was saying that he was not worthy of dying the say way as our Savior. It shows in scripture that (John 21:18-19) Jesus tells Peter the death that he would suffer to Glorify God.
Despite the gruesome details Peter heard about his death, he found comfort in knowing it would Glorify God. Peter’s love for Christ and his desire to obey and glorify Him were evident throughout the rest of his life and ministry. Peter died a martyr’s death but, clinging to the hope of heaven testifies to the courage, faith, patience, and perseverance of this great man of God who rejoiced to be counted worthy to die for the name of Jesus Christ.
How about us, are we ready to die for the name of Jesus? When all the killings and all the beheading s happening in other countries come to our country, will we be ready for that type of situation? Will our family be ready to die for Christ? We must get our minds and heart ready for those times because, they are coming. Let us not lose the focus which is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Amen.
The events of Peter’s life show a man of simplicity and faith. He suffered from a common human ailment: he wanted to do and be good, but was not always able to live up to his goals. Jesus loved and forgave him, because whenever Peter fell, he got up and tried again. We can learn a lot from Peter.
From his courage, faith, and perseverance and know that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect but, he does want perseverance. He wants a willing heart that will praise and worship Him. So let us brother and sisters in Christ not lose our focus which is Jesus Christ and by Faith we will finish this race.
When we get to the finish line we will have a grand prize of all grand prizes and that is to be with our Creator our Father God, Amen.