Yesterday, I got to teach in the older kids class at our church.
We’ve been going through the book of Mark and are about to cover the crucifixion, but before we got there we were doing some character studies. I got to teach on the life of Peter.
Peter is probably one of the most relatable characters in the entire Bible.
He’s very passionate,
He gets a lot of things right,
And gets a lot of things wrong.
Peter was one of the disciples closest to Jesus (part of the famous trio: Peter, James and John). He got to be part of a special group even within the 12 disciples, which was already pretty special, and because of his passion and drive, he got a lot of other special experiences with Jesus too.
Some of Peter’s highlights are…
- The only disciple to walk on water (Matthew 14:22-33)
- One of three to see Jesus on the mount of transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8)
- One of three to see Jesus raise a girl from the dead (Mark 5:35-43)
- The one to answer Jesus and confirm that he knew Jesus was the son of God (Matthew 16:17)
- The one so committed to Jesus that he said he was ready to die for Jesus near the end (Mark 14:29-31)
And some of Peter’s low points are…
- He quickly sunk on the water (Matthew 14:30)
- He couldn’t stay awake for a few hours when Jesus asked Him to (Matthew 26:40)
- Jesus had to rebuke Peter’s thinking that in line with Satan’s (when He told Peter “get behind me Satan”) (Matthew 16:23)
- He denied Jesus (multiple times) (Mark 14:66-72)
Overall, we see Peter to be a great example of our own Christian life:
We have high points,
And we have low points.
But what causes Peter to be a good example for all of us is his resolve to continue to follow, repent and run after Jesus in the midst of his highs and lows.
We discussed Peter’s life more in-depth with the kids class, but the big idea we took away was that Peter is an example for us to follow in three simple ways. It’s through these three things that Peter continually does that we see him continue to grow in his relationship with Jesus and to be used by Him.
Get to know Jesus more
Peter had the privilege of getting to live and talk with Jesus for a few years, but we have Jesus’ Word (the Bible) that we can read, and His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) living inside of us, Who also reveals the person of Jesus to us. It is through knowing Jesus more that we will grow in our relationship with Him and become more like Him.
Live Passionately For Jesus (Hold Nothing Back)
One of Peter’s biggest strengths was that he never did anything halfway. Walking on water was the perfect example. When everyone else was staying in the boat, still processing what was going on, Peter said “Jesus, if it’s really you, tell me to come out on the water with you!”… and he did. In order to live a full life with Jesus and be transformed by Him, you have to be willing to lay everything out on the line and pursue Him with all of your life.
Have A Lifestyle Of Repentance And Reliance On God
Through his ups and downs, we see him continually turn back to Jesus and resume following Him.
He follows Jesus with the same tenacity he did before.
Peter was someone who learned to be humble in his own eyes and to rely on God’s grace through the ups and downs of his spiritual walk following Jesus.
May we do the same…
As I challenged the kids in our class yesterday: may we all do the same.
May we pursue knowing Jesus more from His Word and from spending time with Him.
May we live passionately for Jesus and pursue Him holding nothing back in our lives.
And may we have a lifestyle of repentance whenever we fail so that we may receive the grace and forgiveness that God offers and may continue to run our race of faith with endurance until the end of our lives.
May we get to heaven and hear Jesus say,
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”