Summary: A Character study on the life of Peter
A Character Study on Peter
INTRODUCTION: Looking at the life of Peter, it is easy to make comparisons. One of the most vivid would be to that of the Prophet Elijah. Peter seems to be the New Testament Elijah, at least in his emotions. Up and down in relatively short time. Both men were capable of having tremendous moments of encouragement and victory, but they were just as capable of having great moments of distress and failure. Probably one of the best lessons we can learn from Peter as we look at his character is to keep our moments in perspective.
John 1:40-42 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter).
Matthew 26:69-75 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said.
70But he denied it before them all. "I don’t know what you’re talking about," he said.
71Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth."
72He denied it again, with an oath: "I don’t know the man!"
73After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away."
74Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don’t know the man!"
Immediately a rooster crowed. 75Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.
A His conversion
1 Brought by his brother Andrew
a Had heard the ministry of John
b Believed the ministry of John
c Had then followed Jesus
1) Had dwelt with Jesus for a day
2) Convinced, Andrew First seeks his brother Peter
John 1:37-40 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?"
They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"
39"Come," he replied, "and you will see."
So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.
40Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.
2 Built on Jewish hope
a For a Messiah
3 Probably difficult to reach
a His brother was doing the reaching
b Hardest job is to bring our own family to Christ
c Andrew was persistent
Luke 8:38-39 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39"Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
d Easy to follow – hard to witness!
e Peters Salvation is a result of PERSONAL work
B Peter’s Development
1 Development through experience
a The transfiguration
Matthew 17:1-8 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."
5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"
6When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don’t be afraid." 8When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
b Through Correction and Rebuke
Matthew 16:21-24 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"