Read through these verses to get a brief snapshot of the character of Peter:
- Matthew 4:18-22,
- Matthew 8:14-17
- Matthew 14:22-33
- Matthew 16:13-23
- John 18:10-11
- Matthew 26:31-35,69-75
Peter didn’t ask a lot of questions. He just acted. Things didn’t always go as he imagined. In fact, sometimes the results of his actions were extreme. But Peter did not allow his failures to stop him from pursuing Christ. Even when he was utterly foolish or acted totally against the will of Christ, he eventually was able to recover. Peter was a dedicated follower of Christ from the very beginning. Jesus says, “Follow me”. Peter drops his net and follows. Jesus says, “Come to me”. Peter steps out of the boat and starts walking on the water. Jesus asks. Peter answers (many times being wrong). Jesus gives his life for those that he loves. Peter continues to follow despite the risk and persecution that will come.
This is what it means to be a disciple of Christ. This is what it means to have faith. Peter didn’t always get it right but he never gave up trying. And even in his weakest, most vulnerable moments, the grace of God flowed through him and brought him back to the presence of God. Read John 21:15-17 to see how Jesus responds after Peter denied him 3 times. “Feed my sheep”. Jesus stills wants Peter do his will despite failing time and time again. There is so much we can learn from Peter.
How much faith do we have? Are you willing to step out of the boat to follow Christ? Where do you put your trust? In God? In man? In money? In the world? Do your words match your actions? Do live the life of a Christ follower or are you merely an admirer of Christ? Soren Kierkegaard explains that there is a great difference between following verses admiring. “A follower is or strives to be what he admires. An admirer, however, keeps himself personally detached. He fails to see that what is admired involves a claim upon him, and thus he fails to be or strive to be what he admires.”
Let us not be merely admirers of Christ. Let drop our nets and follow. We are bound to make mistakes and come up short but that doesn’t mean that we give up. It is important to also surround ourselves with an uplifting community of peers and mentors in order to keep on track during the most difficult of times and the most joyous.
Consider this quote from Madeleine L’Engle:
“In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do His work, to bear His glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.”
None of us may be qualified, but God chooses to use us. He loves us and pursues us daily. Step out in faith. And follow.
This week spend time reflecting on the life of Peter and what it means to follow Christ Jesus. Read through 1 and 2 Peter. Examine how Peter continued faithfully in his call to follow. And the cost of following. Allow God to speak this week. Be still and listen.