The Amazing Galilean

by Marilyn Worley 

Peter, son of Jonah (actually Simon, called Peter, was a fisherman by trade. Many that lived around the sea of Galilee were. He probably had no formal training, and being tactful was not his style. He could be presumptuous, speaking before weighing his words for the effect they might have on others.

But God saw potential in Peter and gave him acclaim when others would have passed him by to choose another follower of His son, Jesus Christ. If we follow the doings of Peter through the New Testament as he walked with Jesus.

We see his passion for being a faithful, thankful follower. Jesus patiently taught Peter, little by little, howto truly love Him, and God His Father. He taught Him how to be kind, loving, giving, patient, unmovable in his faith and walk. These were trustworthy lessons he learned --sometimes very slowly.

But the book of II Peter, which he is given credit for writing, with the help of Silvanus, his secretary, shows a very different Peter. His life is truly a fascinating one. He followed Jesus even when rebuked by Him. I'm sure he must have known how much he was loved in spite of his failures; loosing faith when walking on the water and denying Jesus the privilege of washing his feet were examples. He even denied he knew Jesus when it might cost him plenty, perhaps his life.

But Jesus knew what Peter was made of before he was formed in his mother's womb, and chose him to be his bold leader of the disciples. He was the one to proclaim to the rest who Jesus really was--"the son of the living God." Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep. Jesus knew Peter would stand firm in trials, and imprisonment; he would be bold to preach to thousands on the day of Pentecost and have the faith to do miracles in Jesus' name.

Peter is the one who taught us so much about living an over-coming life in Christ with faith in His promises..."as His diving power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue:"... He tells us to diligently (continue to strive to "add to our faith, virtue, to virtue, knowledge, to knowledge, self-control. Add to self control, patience, then godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, love."

Peter knew by experience that "if you do these things you will never stumble." He says, "be diligent to make your calling and election sure" by doing these things. II Peter 1:4-10 And in verse 11 he goes on to say "for an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

You might call Peter's life one of "from rags to riches". Peter's life is one to admire, embrace, knowing God can use even me. He can change my selfish, self-centered, self-determined, life--the one with worldly values and goals into something beautiful, satisfying and finally extremely rewarding. Peter followed Jesus. I will follow Jesus.