In this Sunday School Lesson, let’s take a closer look at the rock of Peter.
Early in Jesus Christ’s ministry, Andrew brought his brother Simon Peter to Jesus, and Peter became a follower, an apostle, a fisher of men. Peter saw many signs and miracles as he daily walked and talked with Jesus; but he still got discouraged, made mistakes and walked in fear at times. It took something greater than living with Jesus to change Peter into the bold and fearless man he later became.
Take your Bible KJV and turn to Matt 16:18; “And I [Jesus] say also unto thee, that thou art Peter [petros], and upon this rock [petra] I will build my church….” The words “rock/stone” is petros in the Greek text. Peter was petros, a tiny rock like a grain of sand. This grain of sand could be blown anywhere with the wind and that seems to be indicative of Peter’s early life.
Jesus Christ said, “I am petra; I am the rock (large rock), and upon this large rock, petra, I will build MY church. But you, Peter, are petros; you blow hot and cold. You are on one minute and off the next.” Jesus said “I,” not Peter, “will build my church. Jesus never said he was going to build his church on Peter, rather he was going to build the church on himself.
The four Gospels are full of Peter’s hot-to cold and cold-to-hot temperaments i.e., Matt 14:25-31 (the fourth watch is between 3 and 6 a.m.); Mark 14:26-31; Luke 5:4-10; John 13:6-9; 18:10-11; 20:19; , etc. which seems to have begun with the record of John 1:40 and concludes with Acts 2:14-15. It is amazing that seeing Jesus in his resurrected body was still not enough to convince Peter to become a bold witness. Peter had been a fisherman, but Jesus had called him to be a fisher of the Word. When Peter got discouraged, he turned back to his old ways. (John 21:3). Peter quit the ministry and went back to the fishing business.
So, what changed Peter? Before the day of Pentecost, everything Peter touched crumbled. But after that day, the change in Peter was dramatic. He had no fear when he faced Ananias and Sapphira as they tried to lie to God in Acts 5. He had no fear when he faced Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8. He made no mistake when he raised Dorcas from the dead in Acts 9. This same Peter was obedient when the angel told him to go, stand and speak in the temple in Acts 5.
Sometime during the 10 days prior to the day of Pentecost, Jesus gave his 12 apostles (including Matthias}, the gift of holy spirit from the Giver (God—the Holy Spirit), UPON them (John 20:22)—but they did NOT receive that same gift IN them until the actual day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-4). We Christians have the same thing Peter received on Pentecost, because God made holy spirit available once and for all. We are not all apostles but we all have the same gift of holy spirit. (1 Cor 12:7-11). All nine manifestations, including speaking in tongues, of that one gift work today just as effectually as they did back in Peter’s day. We can have the same boldness to proclaim God’s Word and stand for God as any born-again believer ever has had.
Jesus said, “Verily, verily (Truly, truly), I say unto to you. He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12 KJV). What greater work can you do that Jesus couldn’t do? Helping people get born-again. The definition of “born-again” is—God is in Christ and Christ is in you. Being born-again was not available until AFTER Jesus Christ died, was resurrected, and because he goes unto his Father. Amen.
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