Theme of the Week: Peter’s Spiritual Growth… and Ours
Bible Verse: “At once they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:20
Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:12-25
Peter is perhaps the archetype disciple. Not that he is the role model to follow for what it means to follow Jesus. Rather, he is the disciple that represents us all. Outside of Jesus, Peter’s name appears more than anyone else in the gospel accounts. It’s possible that he said and did more than the other disciples. But it’s also possible, perhaps probable, that Peter is the example. He is the representative disciple, not simply for the original 12, but for us all.
Don’t misunderstand. He certainly said and did everything the gospels record. But there’s a reason his words and deeds get page space and ink spilled and nothing (literally) is said about the words and actions of some of the other disciples. Peter is the one about whom it is often said, “I can relate!” Now, again, that could simply be because we know so much about what Peter said and did in comparison to the others. There just aren’t many choices for whom we would identify based on what we see them do and hear them say . . . I don’t think anyone is saying that about Judas.
Peter is often characterized as brash and impetuous, and he was. But he was also bold, courageous, supportive, and expectant. He was all the things that we are. We’re going to spend some time with Peter this week. We’ll look at how he followed Jesus and how he shows us what (and what not) to do. As we watch Peter understand Jesus better, a long and twisty journey, we’ll find encouragement for our own journey with Jesus and the unexpected turns it can take. And, hopefully like Peter, we’ll continue down the road after Jesus, drawing closer to Him and becoming more like Him.
For today, consider what Peter left behind to follow Jesus. He left family and welfare. An amazing choice. Was his family supportive or was this abandonment? We don’t really know. But it’s not difficult to imagine that Peter’s family, having seen what Jesus was doing, was in full support of their son following one who might turn out to be the promised Messiah. Either way, when Peter was called, he followed “at once.”
Prayer: Jesus, it’s so encouraging to see the examples of those who have gone before, both for the example they set to follow and the examples to avoid. Help me to learn from those who have walked before what it truly means to follow you.
Reflection: Have you had to give up anything to follow Jesus? What has it cost you?
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