Profiles from the Resurrection: Simon Peter

Simon Peter is as lovable a disciple as they come.  Peter had his definite high points.  He was one of three disciples invited by Jesus to witness His transfiguration, a glimpse of Christ’s glory and a special revelation of His divinity. Beside Jesus Christ, Peter is the only person ever recorded who walked on water.  When asked who the disciples said that Jesus was, Peter was the first to explode and say, “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God!”

In addition to his high points, Peter had his low points, too.  At the transfiguration, he offered to construct “tabernacles” for Elijah, Moses and Jesus in order to worship, but Elijah and Moses did not possess divinity.  When he walked on the water, Peter allowed the storm to take his eyes off Jesus, and he began to sink.  And after proclaiming his love for Jesus, Christ told Peter that he would deny the Lord three times, which Peter denied he would ever do, but eventually did, running away and weeping bitter tears.

After Jesus rose from the dead, we are told that He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, then to two other women.  Peter had inspected the limp cloths in the tomb, but was wondering what had happened.  The first disciple with whom Jesus had a meeting with was Peter (Luke 24:34, I Corinthians 15:5).  Even after Peter denied Jesus three times, Jesus sought out Peter.  The Bible does not reveal what happened during that mysterious meeting, but it seems hard to believe anything other than the idea that Jesus was on a search and rescue mission.

It is likely that Peter would not have the guts to seek out Jesus out of shame for what he did in his three-fold denial.  But it is very probable that the Christ who came to “seek and save those who were lost” went in search of His one lost lamb.  Jesus must have went to offer forgiveness, and show an example of grace in answer to Peter’s earlier question of how many times a person should be forgiven (Matthew 18:21-22).  Isn’t that just like Jesus?

Many times Christians can find themselves in a position like Peter.  The redeemed can’t believe what they have done, and think that there is no way that God can use them now.  They may feel like they have crossed the line of the point of no return.  But even though they may have taken ten thousand steps way, it is only one step back into the forgiving arms of the beloved Savior.  And if one will just submit to the grace, mercy and love of a forgiving God, the renewed believer can become a remarkable vessel that is fit for the master’s use, just like Peter.

After his mysterious meeting with Jesus, Peter did not have the roller coaster spirituality he exhibited before; rather, he became one of the early church’s greatest evangelists.


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