Simon Peter, Cephas, The Rock, Simon Bar-jona one of the most misunderstood characters in the New Testament Gospels, yet one of the most revered. Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers Simon called Peter and Andrew casting their nets into the sea. And he called unto them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” and immediately they put their nets and lives aside and followed Jesus. Peter was Jesus’ first disciple, oh the joy of being called by the Lord and the privilege of being first, second or third. The joy is in being called.
I am certain that Peter and Andrew had no idea of what lay ahead for them, the roads they would travel, the wonders and miracles Jesus would perform in their presence. Even less they could not imagine the pain and suffering their new leader would experience or the suffering they were to endure. It was the call to follow in the soft voice of the Savior they heard that day, the promise of becoming fishers of men that moved them to obey. Peter knew that there was something special about this man and he left his nets, life and love of the sea to follow him.
Three years would pass and hundreds of miracles performed before the Spirit of God
would reveal to Peter the true identity of the man he had been called to follow. “But who do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 1:15-16). It is here that Peter is rewarded for having walked
away from the life of fishing for the bounty of the sea to follow Jesus fishing for the souls of men. Jesus answered and said, “Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my father which is in heaven” (verse 17).
Jesus asked the question, the Spirit of God revealed the answer and Peter received the
blessing, he knew who Jesus was. Peter was not blessed in secret but in the presence of his fellow disciples. It does not get better than that, Peter was the man, or so one would think. Peter was the kid that sat on the front row in class not because he was smart but because he was eager to learn. He did not always answer the question correctly but he would raise his hand anyway. Peter had not realized his potential, but God, the Spirit and Jesus saw something in him that he did not see in himself. Too many Christians are victims of this tendency today.
We do not see and therefore cannot know the things that God can see in us, why? Because
we will not look at ourselves from His point of view. You have more potential to do more than you have, to be greater than you are and learn more than you know. “It is the spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing, the words I speak unto you, they are spirit, and
they are life” (John 6:63). Jesus knows there are many who do not believe in themselves, the Word of God or Him. You cannot hide your unbelief, Jesus knew from the beginning who would not believe.
“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it was given unto him of my Father” (John 6:65). Obedience to the call, Peter knew at the very moment Jesus called to him and his brother that he would have to follow Jesus, God had predestined it to be so.
If you are straddling the fence today and have not yet heeded the call, ask yourself what am I waiting for? Will Jesus have to walk by and see me; am I waiting to see him in the flesh? You know the answer to these questions and like Peter you know what you must do.
When you know you should do a thing, and do it, immediately you know more. Revisit
the areas in your spiritual life that have become stale and you will discover the staleness goes back to a place in time where God wanted you to do something, but you did not do it. One reason we do not do the things we know we should is because there seem to be no immediate gain to do it.
If you have this mindset then, like Peter you will lose your spiritual perception and power of discernment. In a time of crisis you are apt to become spiritually desperate instead of spiritually self-assured. It is a dangerous thing to deny the person of Jesus when you know that you have walked with him and spent time with him. You must continue to follow wherever he may lead.
Make a conscious decision to know more than others, open your eyes and ears to the words of our Savior. If you believe in Jesus, you should not deny him when asked are you one of his followers, nor should you keep silent when non-believers falsely accuse another believer. Get to know the Scriptures read the Gospels and tell the stories of what God and His grace has done for you. Let the chips fall as they may, and if the words of the Lord prick your friends and neighbors to the heart, so be it.
The sacrifice of Jesus was a high price, but God paid it. Our redemption was not put on layaway, it was not paid on, it was paid in full. It must have hurt God to His heart, but out of love for us He paid the price anyway and Peter knew it. If you knew what Peter knew you would do what Peter did, stop what you are doing now, and answer the call to follow Jesus. Accept him as the Son of God and as your Lord and Savior. Jesus called Peter, and he answered the call, will you?
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ