The Gospel Explained by Peter
People need heroes. Part of life is looking up to someone, being inspired by them, and rising to greater levels of accomplishment in whatever field they represent.
There are golfing heroes who inspire; basketball and football heroes who inspire; entertainers and authors who become heroes and inspire; political and civic heroes who inspire; medical, rescue and military heroes who inspire…(can you even look at that 911 photo of the twisted cross of steel and the firemen raising the flag without a tear welling up in your eye?). Heroes, we all consciously or unconsciously have them. And beyond all these I’ve mentioned there are the religious leaders that inspire often millions.
If you have never picked a character in the Bible as a hero – someone you wish to be like and admire greatly – I hope you’ll consider Peter. He is becoming my hero. Why would I say that? Because –
- If you ever want to be bold– Peter was a model of boldness at Caesarea Philippi when he boldly told Jesus that HE – the Lord of Heaven -- was incorrect. That is bold.
- If you ever want to be fearless– Peter was a model of fearlessness at Gethsemane when he single handedly with only a short sword started to fight with a crowd numbering well over 600 soldiers and guards. That is fearless.
- If you ever think of being a leader– Peter is a model of leadership from the first day he was called by Jesus at the shore. I imagine it was only moments later that he took over as commander and chief of the soon to be Twelve and remained so throughout Christ's ministry. That is leadership.
- If you ever want to be forgiven– Peter is a model of forgiveness at the moment he looked up into the eyes of Jesus at Gallicantu. After all his denials he wept bitterly and cried out in his heart for forgiveness. How do I know that? Because Jesus looked at him in love and forgave him that dark night. That is forgiven.
- If you ever want to be restoration– Peter is a model of restoration to ministry at the Sea of Galilee when Jesus stood on the shore and clearly, completely, and tenderly forgave Peter for all his denials. That is restored.
- If you ever want to be greatly used– Peter is a model of incredible success. Standing nearly alone before his entire world on the 50th day after the Cross -- Peter turns the tide of the whole world, God’s Way! He single handedly (with only the help of the Holy Spirit that is) started the greatest movement the world has ever seen. His message of calling individuals to conversion is Christ, is now the most repeated message, for the longest period of time – in the history of this planet. Peter founded upon Christ what we know today as the church of Jesus Christ. That is success.
- If you ever want to be humble – Peter is a model of humility. Despite all the incredible achievements walking for 3 years at Christ's side, to Pentecost and beyond -- Peter walked away from the miracle of Pentecost as just a servant that God used; he took the Gospel to Cornelius, and started the Gentile Church we are a part of and walked away from that event again – as just a servant that the Lord chose to use. And that is the way Peter humbly stayed -- to the last recorded words of his life. That is humility.
Peter is a hero, in fact he is actually above that – he is a true superhero to millions around the world this day.
But Peter, when found by Jesus, had all the marks of a bully. He was loud, brash, direct, and hard to intimidate. He was probably strong and big. He also was quite good at what he did, and seemed successful. He was a natural leader, and drew people’s loyalty. But he was also selfish, unclean, and hard headed. All that together makes a bully. But Jesus changed Peter. And from that moment on, whenever Peter was in Christ's Presence he was different. But sometimes in weakness, Peter would go back to what he was like before.
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