Summary: A look at those closest to Jesus and His love for them in spite of their flaws.
Today we will be wrapping up our series on friends who fail. We will be taking a second look at Peter and what would probably be described as his greatest failure.
While Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, a servant girl came up to him and said, ‘You were with Jesus from Galilee.’ But in front of everyone Peter said, ‘That isn’t so! I don’t know what you are talking about!’”
Let’s talk about friendship...what exactly is a true friend. I’ve put a picture up here from my days as a police officer. This is a picture of me with my narcotics detection dog "Kena." I put this picture up for a reason. I had many partners during my law enforcement career, but this four legged partner stands out as a friend. You know what I mean, Kena didn’t care what radio station I listened to, she never complained about my choice of restaraunts, she went with me everywhere and she was always glad to see me.
Ultimately my k-9 partner was a great illustration of a true friend. Let’s look at a few of the qualities of true friends. A true friend is someone who understands you. They understand what motivates you. They understand your mannerisms and they understand your goals. Peter seemed to meet the qualifications of a true friend. He seemed to not only understand Jesus, but seemed to have deep insight. Look at the following scripture to see what I mean.
“Then Jesus asked them, ‘But who do you say I am?’
Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’
Jesus told him: ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed! You didn’t discover this on your own. It was shown to you by my Father in heaven.’”
Wow, pretty impressive. Peter must definitely be a true friend with that kind of insight. And if that wasn’t enough, Peter seemed to exemplify another trademark of true friendship. True friends will follow you anywhere. Not only will they go with you, but they do it without hesitation, without question, and even if they’re the only one. Once again from outward appearances Peter seemed to fit this mold.
Peter never questioned Jesus...he seemed to act almost instinctively.
“While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fisherman, and they were casting their net into the lake. Jesus said to them, ‘Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.’ Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him.”
“Peter replied, ‘Lord if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.’
‘Come on!’ Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.”
Now I know what you are saying. "Sure, but Peter sank in the waves too." You are absolutely right...we didn’t say Peter was perfect...but he was willing to follow. You don’t see any of the other disciples jumping out of the boat thinking that they really could walk on water do you?
Finally a true friend is loyal to the end. A true friend will never leave your side, they will fight for you until the very end and will defend you in any circumstance. Peter definitely seemed to fit this mold. He vowed he would remain at Jesus side until the very end. In fact Peter drew the sword against all odds. Look at the following scriptures:
“Peter spoke up, ‘Even if all the others reject you, I never will!’”
“Peter said, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to jail and even to die with you.’”
“Simon Peter had brought along a sword. He now pulled it out and struck at the servant of the high priest. The servant’s name was Malchus, and Peter cut off his right ear.”
Wow, now we realize that at times Peter was a little misguided, but all in all he seems like a pretty loyal guy right? Well let’s expand our view of the illustrations I’ve given you about Peter, and we start to notice a pattern in Peter’s friendship.
Peter was somewhat of a fair weather friend. When the weather was good, Peter was right there. Let me explain further:
When Jesus said come and follow me, Andrew went with Peter to follow Jesus
When Peter jumped out of the boat to walk on the water, Jesus was already walking on the water
When Peter said he would remain at Jesus side, the others were also vowing not to leave