Summary: Hello. My name is Simon – you probably know me as Peter. My name means rock, but to be honest, I feel more like a pebble. I want to tell you my story.
Hello. My name is Simon – you probably know me as Peter. My name means rock, but to be honest, I feel more like a pebble. I want to tell you my story. Even though its been a couple thousand years, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was fishing in the Sea of Galilee and there He stood on the shore. He said, “Follow me.” And for some strange reason, I felt compelled to follow. Boy, I’m glad I did. I saw him heal people. He healed my mother-in-law and never even asked me about it first! I saw him raise the dead. I saw nature jump when He spoke to her. I knew He was someone special when I stood on the mountain and saw God’s glory descend upon him. I knew this man was the Messiah, God’s Son. And to think I was best friends with Him - at least, until the end of his life.
I have to confess. I’ve got a problem. I’m proud. I try to tell everybody what to do. I speak and act before I think. I wouldn’t let him wash my feet. And you probably heard right, I chopped off some guys ear and I really did walk on water for this guy! I couldn’t wait. I had to get to Jesus, so I walked on the water. Oh, some people call me brave, bold and visionary. But I have to tell you; so many times I’m so afraid and I cover my fear with a loud voice. I wanted so much to please Jesus. I remember telling him, “Lord, I’ll never deny you. I’ll stay loyal to you and your cause to the very end. Others may abandon you, but I’ll be there.”
When they arrested Him and began to beat Him, I wanted so much to do something. But I…I was afraid, so afraid. A few people even began to tell others that I was one of Jesus’ best friends. I could see the hatred in their eyes and you’re not going to believe it. But I began to curse and swear that I didn’t even know Him. And Jesus looked at me; it’s a look I’ll never forget. It said, “Peter, I’ve loved you…how could you?” I’ve never hit the bottom, like I hit the bottom that night. I failed and I wanted so much to have a “do-over.” I wanted some personal time with Jesus to get things patched up before he was crucified. But I never had the chance.
You can only imagine how I felt on the Sunday after Jesus’ death. When Mary Magadalene told John and me about Jesus missing from the tomb, I ran to the tomb! It was true – Jesus was not in it! Some cloistered together, but that waiting around stuff wasn’t for me, so I went fishing! I wanted to forget my failure. I wanted to go do something that I knew I could do well because I honestly tried that “fishing for men” stuff and it didn’t work. In fact, I didn’t even know where Jesus was, and He’s the one that pulled me out of fishing to begin with! Me and my buddies fished all night and didn’t catch a single fish. There are three things a fisherman hates. 1. To get skunked. You can’t even exaggerate zero! 2. To have your buddies find out about you getting skunked. 3. To have someone else casually walk up and tell you why you got skunked!
Needless to say, I was crabby that morning because all 3 things happened. But I have to tell you, that I have never seen a sunrise splashed with orange like that morning. The smell of the brine and the lapping of the waves called me back to my old job of fishing and making a living, but I couldn’t even catch one fish. That is until I saw Him. What he said, I’ll share with you in Peter-paraphrase. “You guys got skunked, I know about it, and cast your net on the other side of the boat.” My first reply was, “Go home.” But we figured, what is it going to hurt? We did, and I have never seen so many fish. John said, “I believe its Jesus.” I grabbed my cloths, jumped into the water, and the closer I got to shore, the more I realized it really was Him. When I got there, we embraced. He had fresh fish sandwiches for us over the crackling fire. We took a walk together and he asked me if I really loved Him. This time, I told him I did and I really meant it. He re-called me away from fishing for fish to fishing again for men. He wanted me to follow Him.