Summary: In the lives of the Apostles we see them going thorugh some of the same challenges and experiences we go thorugh. Simon Peter denied Jesus before Pentecost but after Pentecost he demonstrated the power of the risen Lord in his life and witness.
Peter – Man of Bold & Courageous Faith
As we study the life and ministry of the 12 Apostles we see how extra ordinary they are and at the same time how ordinary they are. The twelve Apostles came from various backgrounds. Most were blue color workers laboring as fishermen (James, John, Andrew and Simon Peter). Matthew was an executive type, a white color tax collector. All the Apostles but Judas grew up in Galilee, Northern Israel. Judas was the only one from Judea, Southern Israel. Jews in Southern Israel looked down on Jews growing up in Galilee and Northern Israel as people that were not as educated and competent as Southern Jews. Yet it was from Northern Israel that Jesus chose his disciples.
The 12 apostles had different personalities but they had one thing in common they were all followers and disciples of Jesus. In their lives and ministries we see them going through some of the same challenges and experiences we all go through. They are often confused and don’t completely understand the teachings of Jesus. At times they are in competition with each other, they have personal prejudices and preferences on how to do ministry.
Here is an interesting assessment of the apostles by the Jordan Management Consultants in a letter written to Jesus.
Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for management positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; and we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.
It is the staff’s opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education, and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking.
Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew does not have qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, sons of Zebedee, place personal interests above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel it our duty to tell you that Matthew has been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau. James, the son of Alphaes, and particularly Simon the Zealot have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale. Thaddaeus is definitely sensitive, but he wants to make everyone happy.
One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.
We wish you every success in your new venture.
Jordan Management consultants
Today we are looking at the life and ministry of Simon Peter, a man of bold and courageous faith. What descriptive words come to mind when you think of Simon Peter? “Hot headed, Over Reacts, Man of action, tough, (leather like sun-baked body of a fisherman), Impulsive, he acts and then thinks, (He fires and then takes aim), (He jumps in the ocean and then remembers he forgot his life jacket and surfboard). He is courageous and brave, he would rather fight than switch.
When Jesus saw Simon the first thing Jesus did was to give Simon a new name. Jesus said, “You are Simon son of John. You be called Cephas – which is translated, Peter (rock).
Simon Peter becomes one of the closest friends to Jesus. Jesus led 12 Apostles but had a small executive team of three, Peter, James and John. Peter became the Team leader of the 12 followers of Jesus and was often their public spokesman.
Peter was a proud man. He at first refused to allow Jesus to wash his feet but later was willing for Jesus to not only wash his feet but allow Jesus to splash his whole body with water. Another time Peter tried to interfere with God’s mission for Jesus and Jesus had to command Peter to step aside. Another time Peter was willing to take on an army to protect Jesus. He tried to lop off the head of the Roman leader but missed and only got an ear. Peter vowed that he would follow Jesus till death due them part. Moments later he denied Jesus three times.
When news came that the tomb where they buried Jesus was empty Peter raced to the tomb with John. John being the younger outran Peter and arrived first at the entrance of the empty tomb. Bold Peter fearlessly rushed into the empty tomb and searched it.
After the ascension of Jesus, Peter was the one that stood and preached to the great crowd on the day of Pentecost. Peter put into practice his renewed faith in the risen Christ and said to a lame man begging at the gate of the temple: “Silver and Gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” The man jumped up jumping and praising God.