Peter is among the most popular biblical characters in the Bible. He is one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Though his credentials later in his life are astoundingly impressive, he was a man full of mischief and failures before that.
While most people know him as Peter, he came with different names. His original name was Simon, which means “hearer.” Later, Jesus gave him the name Cephas which means “stone” in Aramaic. The name Peter is derived from the Latin word “petra” which also means little stone.
People know the man named Peter from the Bible but only a few really have a deeper understanding of what his life was all about. That’s why in this blog post, let me share with you the different lessons we can learn from the life of Peter.
A brief background of Peter’s life
We read the scripture that Peter was from his native town Bethsaida. He was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. His father’s name was Jona. However, his mother was not mentioned. It was his younger brother Andrew who brought him to the Messiah.
When you look at Peter, there’s nothing special about his appearance. People even perceived Peter as unlearned and ignorant (Acts 4:13). Peter was married before he became an apostle.
Peter was popularly known as the disciple who denied Jesus (or Yahshua in Hebrew) more than once. Not only that, but Jesus has sternly corrected Peter more than any of the other disciples.
However, Peter’s conversion after Christ’s resurrection is among the most dramatic and powerful. On the day of Pentecost, Peter gave a moving and inspiring message. Along with the effort of the other Apostles and followers of Christ, the church exponentially grew day by day.
Now that we have a brief background of Peter’s life. It is time to know the different vital lessons from his life.
Lesson no. 1: When Jesus calls, we need to answer immediately
Peter and most of the other apostles were fishermen. They have spent a significant amount of their time making a living. Thus, when Jesus called them, it was during their working hours. We read:
And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “FOLLOW ME, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
Now, there’s a great and wonderful lesson that we should learn from this section of the book of Matthew.
First of all, Jesus is inviting us to FOLLOW HIM. If there’s one call in your life that you should answer seriously and sincerely, it would be Christ’s call to follow Him.
God has a purpose in your life. God led you exactly where you are right now. You wouldn’t be here reading this blog if you are not being called by God.
The question now is, “Will you answer God’s invitation?”
If yes, “When?”
Notice the response of the Apostle Peter and the rest of the group. They “IMMEDIATELY left their nets and FOLLOWED HIM.”
Did you see the sense of urgency here? Not only did they follow Christ, but they “left their nets,” signifying their complete surrender of their lives to God’s hands. They have left their source of income and their livelihood to become fishers of men.
They must now live a separate and holy life, dedicated to doing the will of God.
Why do we need to answer God’s call promptly and with a sense of urgency? Romans 13:11 tells us:
“And do this, knowing the time, that NOW it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”
No one of us really knows where our life would end. It could be tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. Knowing this very fact of life, wouldn’t it be wise to focus on the one main goal of our life, which is to be part of God’s kingdom?
That’s why, when God calls us, we need to answer immediately. We must not delay any further. Let us live according to God’s will and purpose in our lives.
Lesson no. 2: God wants to develop a close relationship with us
What’s the purpose of Jesus calling Peter? Is it to make him a slave? Is it to simply make him an instrument to fulfill a purpose? Obviously not.
When Jesus said, “Follow Me,” He was inviting Peter to live closer to Him. Jesus wanted Peter to get more acquainted with Him. He wanted to foster an intimate relationship and this would only be possible if Peter spends more time with Jesus.
In order to get closer to God and Jesus, you need to take the time and effort to build that relationship. It is not enough to just believe in God, but you must take the necessary steps to move closer to Him.
Remember, before you can be an effective preacher of the Gospel, you must know first God and Jesus. You can’t effectively share the Gospel if you, yourself, don’t know what it is all about.
By drawing close to God, you get more understanding and wisdom. Not only that, but a constant connection to God will help you be more effective in your Christian calling.
Lesson no. 3: God plays no favoritism
It is worth noting when Jesus called Peter, He was in a place that we least expected. We read:
“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen” (Matthew 4:18).
We see here that Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee to find His disciples. Jesus wasn’t searching among the chief priests, elders, leaders, kings, and other prominent men. He wasn’t looking in Herod’s court, palaces, and castles where He could have found the mighty and noble.
But He was on the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus called fishermen to be part of His inner circle. In the standards of men, Peter and the others are no one. But to Christ, they were someone. At that moment, Peter had no idea how he and his companions would eventually change the world!
We read in I Corinthians 1:26-28:
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen.”
This post originally appeared on BecomingChristians.com and was republished with permission. The article was written by Joshua Infantado.