A Flawed and Loyal Disciple

In the book, “Twelve Ordinary Men,” John McArthur describes Peter as “eager, aggressive, bold, and outspoken — with a habit of revving his mouth while his brain was in neutral.” (Twelve Ordinary Men, pg. 31)  He says, “Peter was impetuous, impulsive, and over-eager.” (pg. 35)

Sounds pretty accurate.  Peter was the one who boldly walked on water (Matthew 14:28).  It was Peter who aggressively cut off the ear of the soldier who had come to arrest Jesus (John 18:10).  And it was Peter who impulsively jumped out of the boat when he saw the resurrected Jesus in the distance (John 21:7).

Peter was also the first of the disciples to claim Jesus as Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16).

We may look at these character traits (outspoken, impetuous, aggressive, and over-eager) as flaws.  And there were times when Jesus rebuked some of Peter’s boldness: “Get behind me, Satan!  You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mark 8:33)

Imagine how Peter must have felt after the prediction of his denial came true… “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” (Matthew 26:34)

But this is how God works,  He takes ordinary people who are flawed, who make mistakes, who react impulsively, and He calls them to do extraordinary things.

Peter was the man that Jesus used to build His church,  He said, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)

We can read in the book of Acts many of the amazing things that Peter did for God’s glory.  He spoke out at Pentecost, healed people, and was a dynamic missionary.  He was everything Jesus predicted He would be when He chose him.

Peter’s name is mentioned in the Gospels more than any other name except Jesus.  No one speaks as often as Peter.  No disciple is so frequently rebuked by the Lord as Peter; and no disciple ever rebukes the Lord except Peter (Matthew 16:22).

No one else confessed Christ more boldly or more explicitly; yet no other disciple ever verbally denied Christ as forcefully or as publicly as Peter.  Peter was also the only one Christ ever addressed as Satan.  The Lord had harsher things to say to Peter than He ever said to any of the others.  All of that contributed to making him the leader Christ wanted him to be (Twelve Ordinary Men, pg, 39).

We will be spending the next few months studying the books written by Peter that are given to us in the New Testament.  I look forward to seeing you at the church!

Pastor Stef

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