People Study,  Scripture Study

Peter, or Is it Simon?

Have you ever felt like you are a living contradiction? Have you ever wondered if anyone could really get you, because sometimes, you don’t even get yourself? Let me tell you some goods news… you’re not alone my friend. 

I think we all feel like this at some point in our lives. We have days went we’re outgoing and open and days when we’re shy and reserved. We have days when we’re happy and full of life and days where we don’t want to get out of bed. We have days when we’re excited about what God has for us and days we wish we could just fade into the background for a little while. We have days when we’re full of faith and days when we’re full of doubt. 

Today’s scripture study is about someone who had two sides to his identity too. His name… Peter… or is it Simon? See what I’m saying? He even has two names. 

Simon the Fisherman

Simon was a professional fisherman. He spent his days and probably nights on a boat fishing for not only his food, but for his means of making money. By the stories we see in Scripture, we can tell he was probably a big dude (hoisting large nets of fish beats the gym) and he wasn’t perfect. In fact, in Luke 5:8, Simon tells Jesus he’s not worthy of Jesus because of his sinful nature.

Scripture shows his lack of education in Acts 4:13, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” History also points to the fact that he probably wasn’t the most traditionally educated. Fisherman in that day were typically vulgar, uneducated, and hot tempered.

Peter the “Rock”

Peter wasn’t just a fisherman by profession, he was a fisher of men. (Matthew 4:19) He followed Jesus boldy and was determined to learn all he could from his Rabbi (teacher). This is why (I believe) he was chosen to be part of Jesus’ inner circle. (Matthew 17:1-13) But just because Peter was changed by his time with the Lord, his still made mistakes. 

In Luke 22 (verses 49 through 51) we see old Simon make an appearance when he took his sword and cut off a soldier’s ear. Talk about anger issues! Of course, they were taking Jesus, so I kind of understand his outburst. Simon shows up again in Mark 14 (verses 66 through 72) when Peter shows his fear and denies Jesus… not once… not twice, but three times. Wow, can you say wishwashy! This guy was supposed to be a powerhouse for Jesus… the Rock on which Jesus builds his church.

Luckily for Peter (and for the Church), Peter wasn’t done evolving. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, Peter was humbled and through this humbling, became a powerful speaker of God’s word. This is most notable in Acts 2 (verses 14 through 15). In his famous sermon on the day of Pentecost, he brought thousands to Jesus.

How You Can Be Like Peter

I think I’m a lot like Peter (maybe more like Simon some days). I see that I can have a bold audacious faith on some days and be so fearful to make a move the next. Peter shows me that that’s okay. God’s not done with me yet. Like a great man once said, “If I’m not dead, God’s not done.”

So how about you? Do you feel like you can be full of faith one moment and questioning God the next? Do you want to have the bold faith that Peter shows in Acts? Here are a few things you can do to have that same strong faith.

  • Read the Bible daily: And this isn’t just “a verse a day keeps the devil away”. This is a time of real connection with your Heavenly Father. This is how you learn his voice. If you don’t know his voice, how can you know it’s him telling you to move?
  • Pray Continuously: This means to be in constant contact with God. Talking to him while you’re traveling, while you do homework or housework, and while you’re laying in bed waiting to fall asleep. Anytime can be prayer time. 
  • Realize It’s Progress, Not Perfection: Remember, earthly perfection isn’t real perfection. It’s broken perfection from a broken world.
    Strive to walk closer with God each new day and focus on making progress. God isn’t done with you yet, so just keep getting better and allow God to finish what he started in you.
  • Keep Your Eyes on Jesus: Ok, I had to put this in here. After all, other than the ear-thing and the rooster debacle, Peter’s short-term ability to walk on water is one of the most famous Peter mess up stories out there. I believe that the reason Peter fell into the water wasn’t because of his lack of faith, it was because of his length of faith. When Jesus said “ye of little faith”, I believe he was talking more about how Peter wavered so quickly, since in Matthew 17:20, Jesus himself says “for I solemnly declare to you that if you have faith like a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘move from this place to that,’ and it will move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.” See, Jesus was cool with a little bit of faith. You just need to hold on to your tiny seed and let God grow it.

This Week’s Challenge: Walk Further on Water Than Peter

This week’s challenge is all about progress. This month, choose one of the following actions to put in your daily routine. I want this to become a go-to action for you when you’re stressed, or scared, or even when you need to make a choice on how to respond to someone. Post on social media how you’re walking further on water than Peter. In other words, how you are making progress with your walk with God and how he’s growing your seed. Make sure to use #UnPerfectedWalk.

  • Read your bible daily
  • Pray continually, especially when you’re scared, stressed, or need to make a decision.
  • Worship: When you’re fearful or upset, praising God and thanking him for all of your blessings can change everything.

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