Simon, also called Peter, is one of Jesus’ most well-known disciples. He is famous for both his faith and his three-fold denial of Jesus at the time of Jesus’ arrest (Mat. 14). However, Christ forgave Peter for that lapse in faith (John 21), and from that moment on Peter served God with his whole heart until the day of his death.
Peter was from the town of Bethsaida, a place Jesus cursed because the people did not believe in Him even after he performed multiple miracles there (Mat. 11:21). In contrast, when Jesus called Peter and his brother Andrew to “follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men,” the two fishermen immediately followed (Mat. 4:18). Soon after, Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, showing that Peter was married even though his wife is never mentioned in Scripture (Mat. 8:14).
The day this Apostle walked on water taught Peter to keep his eyes on Jesus and not the trials and tribulations in life. After feeding the five thousand, the disciples sailed across the Sea of Galilee and were caught in a storm; meanwhile, Jesus prayed on a mountain. Suddenly, the disciples spotted Jesus walking on the water, and Peter desired to walk on water too. Jesus told him to come, and Peter walked on the waves through his faith in Christ. Although he turned his gaze away from Jesus and started to sink, Jesus saved him. Peter almost drowned because he stopped focusing on Jesus, yet he still displayed amazing faith in trusting his Lord to help him accomplish that feat (Mat. 14).
Later in His ministry, Jesus asked the disciples who they said He was. Peter truthfully answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Because of his faith, Jesus promised, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church (Mat. 16).” Jesus would use Peter’s life and ministry to greatly bless the founding of God’s church and bring thousands to Christ. What a great promise for Peter, the fisherman who simply responded to Jesus’ call.
Sadly, Peter denied Jesus three times right before His death (Mat. 26). When Christ rose three days later, He forgave Peter and told him to feed the Lord’s sheep (John 21). The things that Peter witnessed while Jesus was on this earth impacted him and changed his life forever by grounding him firm in his faith, showing him the glory of the kingdom of Christ, and giving him the promise of an impactful ministry.
After Jesus returned to the right hand of the Father, Peter went to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to pray. There, he received the promised Holy Spirit and delivered a sermon that brought three thousand souls to Christ (Acts 2). Soon after this, Peter performed his first recorded miracle, healing a man born lame, outside the temple (Acts 3).
In a vision, God commanded Peter to preach to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Obeying this call, Peter baptized Cornelius and his entire household, Gentiles who wished to become Christians (Acts 10). Throughout his ministry, Peter was imprisoned multiple times for preaching the gospel (Acts 4, Acts 12). One time, when Herod imprisoned Peter, an angel helped Peter escape from prison right under the noses of the guards (Acts 12).
Many years later, after he wrote his first and second epistles, Peter died for the gospel. According to church tradition and early sources, he was the first bishop of Rome but was eventually arrested by the Romans and sentenced to be crucified upside down. However, no one knows for certain what happened to Peter in the end (O’Conner).
The life of Peter has inspired Christians of all ages. His failures in faith are saddening, but his redemption through Christ gave him the ability to do amazing things for the gospel. This gives Christians everywhere hope that no matter how much they fail, Christ will also redeem them and use them to accomplish His purposes.
O’Conner, Daniel William. Saint Peter the Apostle. Encyclopædia Brittanica, Encyclopædia Brittanica, inc., January 23, 2014, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Peter-the-Apostle.
“Jesus Invites Peter to Get out of His Boat and Walk on Water.” ThoughtCo.,12 Feb. 2017, www.thoughtco.com/peter-the-apostle-member-jesus-inner-circle-701069?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=shareurlbuttons_nip.