Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

Walking with God – Day 14

Walking with God as a servant: Peter

Bible text(s)

1From Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ —

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have been given a faith as precious as ours:

2 Peter 1:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

Previously we focused on Samuel, a servant obedient to God from childhood, but today we cross to the New Testament to focus on Peter, a self-acclaimed servant of God, who was already an adult when Jesus called him.

Peter’s warm greeting comes from the joyful heart of a man who knew Jesus personally and had experienced all that he was praying for his readers to be blessed with, himself. He was a person whose life and priorities had been turned around instantly when Jesus said, “Come, follow me” (Matthew 4:19) beside the Sea of Galilee. Peter started out as an ordinary fisherman and became the rock upon which Jesus would build his church.

Peter appeals to many people because his behaviour is what they often see in themselves and they immediately identify with him. Peter, regularly, does not listen carefully and then thinks he does not understand what Jesus says. When Jesus is speaking fairly simply about the Pharisees as blind guides, they understand where Peter is coming from when he blurts out to Jesus, “Explain the parable to us,” (Matthew 15:13-15) and also learn the answer.

Peter, however, sometimes surprises everyone with an “aha!” moment and shows amazing spiritual insight, as seen when responding to Jesus when asked who he thought He was. Peter’s answer was: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus loved his honesty and knew that God had revealed this truth to him. He affirmed: “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 identify with this moment and rejoice in it because of what God can do in a fallible human life.

Peter often made mistakes, even denying Jesus three times during his trial, but he always recognised his wrong, repented sincerely and was immediately back serving Jesus with his whole heart. Through this humility, he matured spiritually and he became a devoted servant. He was leader to the disciples, preached in the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and tirelessly spread the gospel. He cared for the early church through his letters, offering encouragement and thorough teaching.

Jesus calls each of us to follow him. When we are disheartened, let us take encouragement from Peter’s life and trust that “he who began a good work in (us) will carry it on to completion …” (Philippians 1:6), just as He did for him.

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