Summary: Simon was able to stand with authority because he had learned obedience. He had to learn how to listen and follow God’s Word. And when he did, God used him mightily. We cannot become ambassadors until we first become slaves.
2 Peter 1:1-11 (NKJV)
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
Before Simon gets to the meat of what he wants to say in this letter he tells them who he is… First of all he is Simon Peter… that same Simon who was a fisherman before Jesus called him into ministry. That same Simon who was a fiery tempered, quick to speak and slow to listen, free willed man, before meeting Jesus.
There were probably many words that could have described Simon before Jesus called him. But after meeting Him Simon can only think of two words to describe himself… I am a bondservant and I’m an apostle.
Bondservant – simply means… slave, to have a master. His free will had been subdued and he was now somebody who accepted being ruled by somebody else. He no longer made his decisions on his own, he asked the Master first. He no longer tried to solve his problems on his own, he asked the Master first. He no longer had his own agenda, his Master made the agenda. He didn’t wake up in the morning and decide his course of action for the day, the first thing he would do is get on his knees and go to the Master because he knew that the Master had already planned the day out for him. Simon knew that his life wasn’t about himself any longer but it was about the Master’s plan. And he had found out that the Master’s plan was much better than his own plans. He used to make his own decisions but they always turned out wrong. He used to travel down his own road but it turned out being a dead end. One day he found himself disgusted and empty handed, a slave to his own devices. And on this particular morning, after he’d been doing his own thing the whole night before with no success… he looked out on the seashore from his empty fishing boat, and he heard a man calling out to him… “follow Me and I’ll make you fishers of men.” From that day forward, he began to learn how to let go of his will and submit to the will of his new Master… Jesus.
It hadn’t been an easy journey, but it had been a successful one. It hadn’t been everything he wanted but it turned out being everything that he needed. You see, because he made Jesus Master, everything just seemed to fall right in to place. The impossible situations turned into possible ones, but only after obeying the Master. On one particular day after Jesus had spoken to a crowd of about five thousand men, they became hungry and Jesus wanted to feed them. The disciples, Simon included, said… Lord, there’s no way possible. All we have is five loaves and two small fishes. But the Master spoke and when the Master speaks, the servants listen. He said… start handing out what you’ve got. And because they had made Him the Master of their lives, they had no choice but to do what He said. It looked silly and it looked like an impossible request. But servants don’t question the Master, they just obey. You see, servants understand that it’s not their responsibility to figure out why, it’s their responsibility to obey. It’s not their duty to analyze and try and look for an easier solution, their responsibility is to obey. You see Simon the servant remembered the day that Jesus the Master told them go to the other side of the lake while He waited there on land. I can imagine he thought it was a strange request because the Master was never that far from them. But because he was the servant he obeyed. As the night wore on he remembered seeing the lightning flash in the distance and hearing the thunder get louder and louder. He remembered the boat when the waves began crashing against it and the water started rising up in it. He may have been one of those who cried out… “We’re going to drown in this storm.” But the moment they began crying out, the servant looked out into the distance and saw the Master walking on the water. And when the servant saw the Master, he knew that everything was going to be alright. Now you might say… if Jesus knows everything, why didn’t He tell them they were going to run into a storm? Why did He allow them to almost drown? I believe it was because He was forming them into something greater than they could have ever imagined being and preparing them to do greater things than they ever thought they could do. Yes, He knew about the storm but He didn’t want to tell them about it. If He had told them about it they would have never left the shore. If they would’ve never left the shore they would’ve never found themselves in the middle of the storm. And if they hadn’t of found themselves in the middle of the storm, they would have never seen Him walking on the water. And if they had never seen Him walking on the water they would have never understood that all things are subject to Him and nothing goes on without Him knowing about it. And without that understanding they would have never been able to face the persecutions that came their way. They would have failed the mission. But from that day forward, every trial that Simon faced, he could see the Master walking on top of it. Every difficult situation that came his way, he could see the Master walking on top of it. There was never another question of who the servant was and who the Master was.