Summary: Peter had a big turn-around between Mark 14 and his two epistles.
Peter’s Big Turn-Around
June 23, 2010
Peter is one of my favorite Bible characters because of his passionate love for the Lord. He was one of the men who ran to the empty tomb when everyone else thought it was nonsense (Mk. 24:11-12).
After the crucifixion, Jesus appeared to His disciples from the shore while they were out fishing. Once they realized it was Him, it was Peter who “threw himself into the sea” while everyone else was content to row (Jn. 21:7).
Peter cut off the man’s ear when they came to arrest Jesus (Jn. 18:10), he was the one who asked to stay on top of the mountain at the transfiguration (Lk. 9:33), and he was the one who refused to let Jesus wash his feet until Jesus said “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me;” Peter replied, “Then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head” (Jn. 13:8-9).
His faith and zeal were sometimes shallow and selfish and rash and a little ignorant, but there’s something about his childlike passion; he might not have always been the greatest theologian, but he loved Christ more than most theologians ever will.
I can identify with a man like him. I’m often wrong in my passion; I often miss the point, but I love Him and I’m willing to change.
This is probably the best part about Peter. He missed the point a lot of the time and he was often oblivious to the truth, but he didn’t stay that way. He went from being a poor dumb fisherman who loved the Lord to being a man God inspired to write Scripture and who helped lay the foundation of the early church.
He was never perfect, but he did have a big turn-around; he matured in his faith. Tonight I want to look at this turn-around with you:
Peter’s Big Turn-Around
We’ll use Mark’s account of Peter found in chapter fourteen and compare it with the two epistles Peter later wrote.
1. Peter Turned Around His Pride
And Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away, because it is written, 'I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP SHALL BE SCATTERED.' 28"But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee." 29But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away, yet I will not." (Mark 14:27-29)
Notice that Jesus says they will fall away “because it is written.” Peter’s rejection is an argument against what is written. He says, “I don’t care what Scripture says, I’m not going to fall away.” This is pride.
GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. 6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. (I Peter 5:5-6)
Now Peter isn’t trusting in his own abilities or faithfulness but in God’s sovereignty.
2. Peter Turned Around His Laziness
And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38"Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." 39Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41And He came the third time, and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? (Mark 14:37-41)