Life Lessons: Peter: The Fisherman
When going down a list of Biblical characters I’m always amazed by Esther’s bravery, overwhelmed by Noah’s faithfulness and wowed by Paul’s wisdom but it is in Simon Peter that I find a kindred spirit. If you ever feel that you aren’t worthy of the Lord’s love, aren’t good enough to be a part of His plan or just fail too many times, let me suggest taking a look at Peter’s story.
Truthfully, in Peter’s early life, he could be classified as a screw up which is why I love him. I see him as the Jewish version of a “good ole boy” and it makes him so relatable because if the Lord could look at Peter in the early days of the Gospel and say, “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18) then He can use me. In the beginning, Peter was hard headed, reckless and a bit dense but he literally became the rock on which the church was built. So, let’s take a bit and look at Peter’s journey and how the man who infamously denied Jesus became the man who was willing to die for Christ.
You can find several accounts of the disciples’ early interactions with Christ throughout the Gospels but I like John’s version best because you can see a focus on Simon Peter. At the time Simon and his brother, Andrew, were fishermen by trade which was a tough life. You can imagine that these were rugged, burly men who were hard workers which made them perfect for what the Lord had in mind. As you read the Gospel accounts, it is obvious that most of the disciples had heard of Jesus, either through word of mouth or from John the Baptist, and as we see in this passage most had several interactions with Christ before being “called”.
In John 1:35-42, we see that Andrew has an interaction with Christ and goes immediately (vs. 41) to find Simon saying, “We have found the Messiah” and brings his brother to meet him. This is the moment that Jesus tells Simon he will be called Peter which means rock and much like with Saul’s transformation to Paul, this name change brings eventual life change. It’s in Matthew 4:18-22 that we see the moment Peter and Andrew are called to be “fishers of men”. I love that it says they went at once because I’m not sure that would have been my reaction. I would have wanted to make arrangements, check with my family, get my accounts in order but this response tells me that the Simon Peter and Andrew had been overwhelmed by all they saw in Jesus. Thus starts Peter’s journey to becoming the Rock and the world changer that we know and love.
Do you ever feel that you aren’t worthy to be part of God’s family or story?
When God calls you to a task, do you go immediately or do you struggle with the details?
Are there areas of life that you are more likely to follow faithfully and some that you would rather hold on to tightly?
Ask the Lord to help you see yourself through His eyes and to give you the courage to step out in faith.
Next, time we will look at the early disciple experiences that shape Peter and what we can learn from his mistakes!