If you’ve ever watched television for any period of time, you’ll undoubtedly have seen the commercials for the “most interesting man in the world’. While we laugh and chuckle at those ads, the sad reality is that the average Christian knows more about people like that than they do about the truly interesting men of the Bible.
I’ve decided to take up a challenge by one of my professors at Grace University. Jon McNeel, the Dean of Men and my professor for both the Old Testament and the New Testament, would continually talk about Peter in our New Testament class. At one point he made the suggestion to no one in particular in the class that a study of the apostle Peter would be an interesting study for someone to do. I’m not sure how many blogs there will be in total, but I now have my next subject to blog about. Thanks for the encouragement John. I won’t get anywhere near the “meat” that you gave us during class, but I’m going to try and come close. I learned a lot from you. Thanks again Jon.
Peter is one of the best known figures in the early church. He is mentioned over 150 times in the New Testament. He grew up in Bethsaida along the coast of the Sea of Galilee, where he and his brother Andrew were fisherman (John 1:44). He was introduced to Jesus by Andrew and given a new name (John 1:40-42) – his original name was Simon; Jesus renamed him Petros, or “Rock”. Later, when living in Capernaum, he was called to the ministry by Jesus himself (Mark 1:16-18) and appointed as one of the original twelve apostles (Mark 3:13-16).
The first contact we have between Peter and Christ is when Christ point blank tells Peter to follow Him. Not to consider the possibility of following, or even giving Peter the option of thinking about it for a week, is an amazing reality for me. How often do I feel God’s promptings, and never act on them. Basically, Christ is telling Peter “Receive My doctrines, imitate me in my conduct. In every aspect, be my disciples.”
Right away, Peter leaves his occupation as a fisherman; didn’t even sell any of his equipment off and didn’t even think twice about it. You have to admire the man for seeing something that he wanted and going after it, but whatever would his friends and family say? We know that his brother Andrew went right along with the decision, so not everyone thought he was crazy, but seriously, who does that sort of thing in today’s society? In today’s economy, it would be sheer lunacy to pull a stunt like that, however we know that following God is no “stunt’. If there is ever a more “sure thing”, following after God is it. You probably won’t be the “most interesting man” in the world’s eyes, and following after God probably won’t make you rich, but the Heavenly pension plan He has in store for you is out of this world!
Think about it,