“Where’s the altar call? Well, there was none when Peter was called nor for any one else who had been chosen before the foundation of the world!"
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to walk with Jesus Christ? I don’t mean to “walk daily with the Lord” in the sense that Christian’s today keep Him in their hearts, but to actually physically walk along side of the Savior, and listen to Him and touch Him and eat with Him and witness the miracles and healings He performed.
Well, just such an one wrote this Book of 1st Peter. He was a common man, a big ole lovable fisherman named Simon Bar Jona. “Bar” means “son of” and “Jona means “dove”, so he was the son of the dove, but many of us today would call him a “pussycat”. And once you get to know him you’ve got to love him.
Here’s what happened.
One day Simon, who was called Peter, was out fishing with his brother Andrew, just minding their own business, telling stories and jokes no doubt, and Jesus Christ walked up to them and said “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
No, they just knew He was the Shepherd. So without hesitation or excuse, upon hearing His voice, they followed Him.
Read John 10:4 “And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice."
Matthew 4:20And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Note: You may be asking yourself “Where’s the altar call?” Well, there wasn’t any for the disciples, nor was there one for the apostle Paul when he was knocked to the ground. When we get to chapter one verse two we will explain about the “elect”, who were chosen before the foundation of this world.
So Peter was a plain old fisherman with the gift and the ability to communicate with the common people.
Also his surname was Cephas which means stone or petros, i.e. rock.
And Jesus would make him a strong pillar in the apostolic church.
You will see that he had a strong, very animated personality.
Here are some examples:
We read in John 13 where Jesus came to Peter to wash his feet and Peter said “What? No way Jose!” to which Christ simply said, “If I can’t wash your feet you’re out pal!” Peter then instantly did a 180 degree turnabout and said “OK, OK, but while you’re at it how about doing my hands and head too.” He probably had a big silly fisherman’s grin on his face. What a funny guy. As I said, you’ve got to love him.
Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
Then we have the incident where Mr. Impulsive, this time in his role as a hothead, drew his sword in the garden, over the brook Cedron, when the lynching crew came for Jesus, and proceeded to slice off the ear of the high priest’s servant.
The reason he cut off his ear was because the servant no doubt “ducked”, otherwise Peter would have cut off his head, the object of his swoosh.
Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
Note: You’d think after all the time Christ spent with His disciples before His crucifixion that He would have had ample time to tell them to lay down their arms and become pacifists. You know, “Love, Peace, Woodstock Baby!” I mean swords can kill people and not only that; criminals could use them to commit crimes. We need sword control laws!
Next we will see that Peter not only had animated behavior, he had an animated mouth on him and always spoke up first, and rather rashly at times.
Do you remember the account in Matthew 14 where Christ had sent the multitude away and walked up the mountain to pray?
When evening came He was alone and the disciples’ ship was in the midst of the sea being tossed about.
Christ just started walking out across the water and when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea they were startled, to say the least, and thought they were seeing a ghost!
But Christ called out to them and said “Hey fellows, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
Then Peter immediately yelled back “Oh yeh! Well if it’s really you then bid me to come to you and walk on the water too.”
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
So Peter actually got out there and walked on the water, a gutsy move if you ask me.
And you can be sure the other disciples were watching this brave soul [nut] and Peter knew it and so he probably said, “Hey guys, look at me! I’m walking on water.”
Then reality set in and he saw the wind boisterous and he said “Uh Oh!”
Then he started to sink and his pulse went ballistic.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
“HELP!” cried the big man! “Lord, save me!”
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Now it’s Jesus’ turn to have big grin on His face.
Yes, there is no doubt about it. You just know this big lovable character had a heart of gold.
And Jesus would use him to feed His flock and be a strong leader in the apostolic church.
And Peter would faithfully obey His Lord’s command.
And it would be this Peter who would stand up on Pentecost Day in Acts chapter two and quote from the Book of Joel and explain to all exactly what they were witnessing.
And yet it would be this same Peter who would deny Christ thrice during the events leading up to His crucifixion.
Here we once again see the well-intentioned Peter talking big:
Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
Peter just told Christ he would give his life for him [he meant as long as he didn’t have to die, of course].
Well, that’s easier said than done, Peter, you human being you.
Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
And it came to pass that Peter did deny Christ three times, just as He said he would. And when Peter realized what he had done, his big heart broke, and he was devastated by his actions, and he wept bitterly.
And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
What a great character this Simon, son of Jona, called Peter was.
Some scholars would argue that he was not really the author of the books bearing his name.
Their problem is they don’t know Peter, for if they did they would see that he is unquestionably the writer.
The Epistle of 1st Peter, written by Peter himself, was written from Babylon (5:13) in approximately 60 A.D. and we will begin with chapter 1, verse 1, in our next study.
And just as you can’t help liking the personality of Peter, just wait until you hear what he has to say!
You’re going to love it.
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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