Summary: Brash, contentious and even brazen but no one can deny Peter loved Jesus and had all the right intentions.
Of all the men of the bible, today’s is perhaps my favorite. Possibly because I think I am most like him.
He is brash, impetuous and often is like a bull in a china shop. He speaks his mind but many times without considering the consequences. His name is Simon Peter.
Growing up as a Catholic I was taught much about this man that was not true. That he was the first pope, and the main apostle over all the others, because he had the keys to the kingdom.
But in studying the scriptures we find that Peter was more like us than many would like to admit.
The first glimpse that we catch of Peter is when Andrew, his brother, brought him to the Savior. That is John's account, John 1:40-42. That is when he became a disciple; but he did not leave everything at that time and follow Christ. He waited until he got another call
I think we all can learn a lesson right here—that it is not every one who is called to be a disciple of Jesus that is called to leave his or her occupation and become His follower entirely or go into full time ministry.
I believe there are many self-made preachers or pastors—man-made preachers or pastors—and this is the reason why so many fail and suffer burnout. They see the ministry as a vocation, a job, and not a calling
No one who was called by God has ever failed, or has ever broken down in their ministry; but when a person runs before he is sent, I believe they will fail.
Many are called to be His disciples but not everyone is called to the full time ministry or pastorate. Everyone has a different gift and I believe a different mission for Christ
Now, we find, in the fifth chapter of Luke, and also in the fourth chapter of Matthew, where Peter got his calling to leave everything and follow the Lord.
Tradition says that Peters dad died when he was very young and was taken under the wings of a man named Zebedee and when he got older, he formed a fishing business with Zebedee’s two sons James and John and became quite successful.
He was out with his brother and partners fishing one day, when Jesus came along and told them to cast their net, or to launch out into the deep and cast their net into the sea.
"But," says Peter, "we have toiled all night and caught nothing."
"Nevertheless," commanded Jesus, "let down your nets."
At the word of the Lord they did so, and were successful, and when they got ashore Peter was so humbled by the amount of fish they had caught, he told Jesus: “depart from me for I am a sinful man”. Jesus had done this to show what He was calling them to do from that day forward.
From now on you will be fishers of men.
From that day, Peter never left the Lords side. Along with Peter came his brother Andrew and also two other fishermen, James and his brother John.
At that first calling Jesus changed Peter’s name. It was originally Simon or Simeon which means hearing. But Jesus said from now on you will be called Peter in the Greek or Cephas in the Aramaic. Both names mean rock
The name fits Peter well. Tradition tells us that Peter was the oldest apostle. A large man and strong, as one would expect from someone who made his living as a seaman.
But I think it may also have much to do with his character and perhaps even his stubbornness.
He and Jesus became very close, and while we all like to think that Jesus and God treat everyone the same, it is clear from scripture that Jesus did in fact favor Peter along with James and John as an inner circle of trusted companions.
Peter was so close, that we find hints that Peter may have sold his house in his native town of Bethsaida and purchased another one in Capernaum and Jesus was actually living in Peters house in Capernaum along with Peter’s mother in law and his brother Andrew, and that this had become a sort of headquarters for the small band of believers.
Did I say mother in law? Well that would imply that Peter was married wouldn’t it? Evidence against the erroneous teaching by Rome that their clergy should never marry since according to them Peter was the first Pope and clearly was married.
We have possible further evidence in 1 Corinthians 9:5 where Paul says
3 My defense to those who examine me is this:
4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink?
5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?