Following Jesus 5

Are you like Simon Peter? 

Following Jesus refers to being a disciple of Jesus. Being a disciple of Jesus entails following Jesus’ leading and learning from His teaching in order to take upon oneself, by God’s enablement, Jesus’ character.

In examining what it means to Follow Jesus as His disciples, let’s take a look at the most familiar disciples of Jesus: the Twelve. Matthew 10:1-4 is one text, along with Mark 3, Luke 6 and Acts 1, which gives us a list of who these men were. 

And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Matthew 10:1-4 ESV).

These were the men belonging to the Master. What were they like? How are we like them? Most were true disciples; one was not. How do we resemble them in our personalities, passions, and our perspectives? 

For the next several postings, we will examine what these men were like. We will seek to discover their strengths, and their weaknesses. We will seek to discover the lessons they learned and the lessons they continue to teach us. 

Today we begin with Simon Peter. What was Simon Peter like? How are we like Simon Peter? 

As one pastor has written, “The gospels are literally filled with Peter’s name. Peter’s name is mentioned in the gospels more than any name by Jesus’. Nobody speaks as often as Peter, and nobody is spoken to by the Lord as often as Peter. No disciple is so reproved by the Lord as Peter, and no disciple reproves the Lord but Peter. No disciple ever so boldly confessed and outspokenly acknowledged the Lordship of Christ as Peter, and not one denied it as boldly as Peter. No one is so praised and so blessed as Peter, and not one else is called Satan but Peter. The Lord had harder things to say to Peter than He ever said to anybody else – but that was part of making him (Peter) the man He (Jesus) wanted him to be.” (The Master’s Men 26). 

Simon Peter was inquisitive. Are you? Peter asked questions. A lot of questions. Peter asked more questions than all the apostles combined. 

Peter asked Jesus about the meaning of the parable of what truly defiles a person (Matthew 15:15; Mark 7:14-23). Peter asked Jesus whether the parable of Expectant Steward or Servant was about them (Luke 12:41). Peter asked Jesus how often he (Peter) was to forgive (Matthew 18:21-35). Peter asked Jesus about the reward for the twelve who followed Jesus (Matthew 19:27-30). Peter asked Jesus about the fig tree that had withered away (Mark 11:20-26). Peter asked Jesus about the meaning of things concerning the end times (Mark 13:3-23). Peter asked Jesus questions of the risen Christ (John 21:20-22). 

Do you ask questions of your leaders in order to better understand the Word of God? Do you try to answer biblical questions yourself rather than let someone else find the answer for you? You are a lot like Simon Peter.  

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