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Going Deeper

Going Deeper

Peter (7.11.20)

Who was Peter?

  • Peter was originally named Simon.
  • Simon was originally from Bethsaida (John 1:44) and lived in Capernaum (Mark 1:29).
  • He was married (1 Corinthians 9:5).
  • He ran a fishing business with James and John (Luke 5:10).
  • Simon met Jesus through his brother, Andrew.
  • Upon meeting Simon, Jesus gave him a new name: Cephas (Aramaic) or Peter (Greek), which means “rock” (John 1:40-42).
  • Later, Jesus officially called Peter to follow Him, producing a miraculous catch of fish (Luke 5:1-7). Immediately following this, Peter left everything behind to follow the Lord (verse 11).
  • For the next three years, Peter lived as a disciple of the Lord Jesus.
  • Being a natural-born leader, Peter became the unofficial spokesman for the Twelve (Matthew 15:15, 18:21, 19:27; Mark 11:21; Luke 8:45, 12:41; John 6:68, 13:6-9, 36).
  • It was Peter who first confessed Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).
  • Peter was part of the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples, along with James and John.
  • Only those three were present when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain (Matthew 17:1-2).
  • Peter and John were given the special task of preparing the final Passover meal (Luke 22:8).
  • Peter was enthusiastic, faithful, strong-willed, impulsive, and, at times, brash.
  • For example, it was Peter who left the boat to walk on the water to Jesus (Matthew 14:28-29).
  • It was Peter who took Jesus aside to rebuke Him for speaking of His death (Matthew 16:22).
  • It was Peter who drew his sword and attacked the servant of the high priest in the garden of Gethsemane (John 18:10).
  • It was Peter who boasted that he would never forsake the Lord, even if everyone else did (Matthew 26:33-35), and then later denied three times that he even knew the Lord (verses 69-74).
  • Jesus made a special point of forgiving and restoring Peter and recommissioning him as an apostle (John 21:6-7, 15-17).
  • Through all of Peter’s ups and downs, the Lord Jesus remained his loving Lord and faithful guide. Jesus told Peter that he would be instrumental in establishing Jesus’ Church (Matthew 16:18-19).
  • At Pentecost, Peter was the main preacher to the crowd in Jerusalem (Acts 2:14), and the New Testament Church began with an influx of about 3,000 new believers that were saved that day (verse 41).
  • Later, Peter healed a lame beggar (Acts 3:2-8) and preached boldly before the high ranking Sanhedrin (Acts 4:1-22).
  • Even imprisonment, beatings, and threats could not dampen Peter’s resolve to preach the risen Christ (Acts 5).
  • Peter struggled in the area of his bias for the Jews and his favoritism toward those he was with at the time. Thankfully, he showed growth and repentance upon brotherly rebuke and correction. (Acts 15:7-11; Galatians 2:11-14).
  • Later in life, Peter spent time with John Mark (1 Peter 5:13), who, with some of Peter’s insights, wrote the gospel of Mark.
  • Peter wrote 1 Peter and 2 Peter, likely between A.D. 60 and 68.
  • The prophecy of Christ, that Peter would die a martyr’s death (John 21:18-19), came true, as he was killed for his faith.

Peter’s Faith and Struggles

Matthew 14:25-33

In our Matthew 14 text on Monday, we read the account of Jesus walking on water when Peter asked Jesus to tell him to come to Him on the water. When Jesus did, Peter climbed over the side and began to walk on the water toward Him. I want you to realize that the storm and the wind were still raging, but Peter’s faith in Jesus gave him a confidence to trust Him to do the unthinkable.

Consider with me, for a moment, the disciples who had stayed in the boat. What caused them to stay in the boat and not follow Peter out onto the water? Answer: to them, the boat was safer. They trusted the craftsmanship of the boat more than the power of Jesus. Are you trusting more in your manmade boats than in Jesus?

The question is this: What is your “boat” in your life? What is the thing you rely on to weather life’s storms? For you it might be a relationship, or it might be your job or money, or it might be your addiction (internet, drugs, eating, TV) that you look to for your identity, personal significance, sense of security, purpose for living, and happiness.

Essentially, these things become the functional “boat” in which you put your trust. I know many “Christians” who think their trust is in Jesus, but when the storms of life rage, their trust is in a functional savior and not in the one, true Savior. Your “boat” is something that has become more fundamental than God in your life for your identity, personal significance, sense of security, purpose for living, and joy. Instead, we must trust in Jesus—not ourselves, not our functional boats—Jesus!

Matthew 14:29-31 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Peter, with the power of Jesus at work, was able to successfully walk on the water. This is incredible!

In Christ, we can, and will, do things we could never do on our own. But the reality is, the storms still rage. This world is still fallen in sin, and God is still redeeming and working out His plan of redemption while we testify of the gospel and make disciples.

The temptations constantly before us are the plentiful distractions of this world vying for our focus. The problem is, when we put our focus on temporary things, we take our eyes off of Jesus. I ask you plainly today: Where is your focus? When the storms come, do you focus on Jesus, or do you put your focus on the storms?

Peter modeled this for us—it’s a focus thing, a forward thing! When he focused on the problem, the storm, he forgot to stay focused on the solution—Jesus!

When we focus on the temporary troubles of today, we forget that we have a God that is with us and is ultimately the One who holds all things in His hands—even the storms.

When Peter stepped out of the boat, the storm was already raging. In that moment, his faith and focus were on Christ who was his power and hope.

This shows us that on our own, we will not endure the race before us. We will rely on our own power; we will place our hope in our circumstances, and we will hope our circumstances will change or that we can change them. We will not place our hope and trust in our God who remains constant despite our circumstances.

One of my favorite passages in the New Testament helps us with this. I’ll highlight a little from the NLT.

Hebrews 12:1 … And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.

Hebrews 12:2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish.

I love the words to the old hymn that go like this: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

Read again Matthew 26:30-75.

Peter’s struggles were put on display, exponentially, the night Jesus was arrested. While the Jewish trials were taking place, Peter found his way to the house of the high priest and was waiting with others outside in the courtyard. They were awaiting the verdict in much the same way you or I would gather with others around a TV.

I can only imagine the conversation taking place about this historical event. Imagine their speculation about what was going on and what might happen to Jesus. What a prime moment for Peter to defend his friend. But, he didn’t; he decided to save his own hide instead.

Read again Matthew 26:69-75.

There is no greater betrayal than to be so very close to someone and then to not acknowledge that you even know him. Many of you know what it is like to experience great betrayal. We can be confident that Jesus sympathizes with us when we go through this, because He, too, experienced deep betrayal by His best friends.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

While many of us can relate, in this story, to Jesus and the pain we feel when betrayed by someone we love, you might be feeling like you relate more to Peter as the betrayer. Thank God for grace, forgiveness, and restoration. Thank God that He pursues us when we don’t deserve it. He paid the high price for our betrayal against a holy God. He restores us to walk in the newness of life and to live for Him, just like He did for Peter. Look at our next passage we read this week.

John 21:7-25

Jesus sought Peter out and led him through his restoration. Three times Peter confirmed his love for Jesus. Jesus commissioned Peter to feed His sheep. And oh, did Peter go on to preach! The man that was once timid and constantly messing up was redeemed and empowered to be a leader in the early church and to be someone God would work through to do mighty things.

We must remember that although we mess up greatly at times, God is able to restore and sanctify us in mighty ways.

By His grace and for His glory,

-Shepherd

Soldiers for Jesus MC

Peter

Acts 4:1-33

Peter and John Before the Council

4:1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.

On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus1 is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.2 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men3 by which we must be saved.”

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

The Believers Pray for Boldness

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,4 said by the Holy Spirit,


  “‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
    and the peoples plot in vain?
26   The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers were gathered together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed’5

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

They Had Everything in Common

32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

Footnotes

[1] 4:11 Greek This one

[2] 4:11 Greek the head of the corner

[3] 4:12 The Greek word anthropoi refers here to both men and women

[4] 4:25 Or child; also verses 27, 30

[5] 4:26 Or Christ

(ESV)

Peter

John 21:7-25

That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards1 off.

When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Jesus and the Beloved Apostle

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers2 that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Footnotes

[1] 21:8 Greek two hundred cubits; a cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters

[2] 21:23 Or brothers and sisters

(ESV)

Peter

Matthew 26:30-75

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch1 with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on.2 See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.”3 Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant4 of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Council

57 Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council5 were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” 62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”6 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”

Peter Denies Jesus

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Footnotes

[1] 26:38 Or keep awake; also verses 40, 41

[2] 26:45 Or Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?

[3] 26:50 Or Friend, why are you here?

[4] 26:51 Or bondservant

[5] 26:59 Greek Sanhedrin

[6] 26:62 Or Have you no answer to what these men testify against you?

(ESV)

Peter

Matthew 16:13-28

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock1 I will build my church, and the gates of hell2 shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed3 in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord!4 This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance5 to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life6 will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Footnotes

[1] 16:18 The Greek words for Peter and rock sound similar

[2] 16:18 Greek the gates of Hades

[3] 16:19 Or shall have been bound . . . shall have been loosed

[4] 16:22 Or “[May God be] merciful to you, Lord!”

[5] 16:23 Greek stumbling block

[6] 16:25 The same Greek word can mean either soul or life, depending on the context; twice in this verse and twice in verse 26

(ESV)