40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
With all of the skills that we listed yesterday for Simon (Cephas, Peter), we didn't say much about his education (he had little), his people skills (he was rough and abrupt) or about his thoughtfulness before speaking (quite often the length of time between when he thought and when he spoke was measured in microseconds). He couldn't always be relied upon, either. Does he sound like anyone you know? Personally, I find that I mirror some of Peter's characteristics! Not a happy thought.
When Jesus asked Peter, James and John to wait for Him, and to pray while they waited, what did Peter do while Christ agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane?
He went to sleep.
What did he do when he saw Jesus with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration?
Came out with an embarrassingly inappropriate comment.
When Jesus was apprehended and was going to be taken to the leaders in the temple, what did Peter do?
Pulled out his sword and removed an ear from one of the guards.
And lastly, when Christ was being questioned, and Peter was sitting outside by the fire, what did he do when he was questioned about his relationship with Christ?
He denied Him -- not just once, or even twice, but three times.
He had a chance to use his new life skills. The ones that he had learned during three years of following Jesus. He had an opportunity to boldly declare Jesus as his Savior and master, but he denied his Lord three times, cursing on the third and final time.
After Christ rose, Peter returned to his fishing. We can suppose that he was riddled with guilt, with self-doubt, and with shame. He may have decided never to resume the work that Jesus had taught and trained him for.
About thirty days after that, we see Peter standing in front of a huge crowd, boldly preaching -- one of the most powerful sermons ever verbalized -- over 3,000 souls came to repentance and asked forgiveness for their sins that day!
Shortly after that, we see Peter healing a lame man -- and proclaiming the Lordship, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ!
And after that, he was arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. This same man who had been fearful and cowardly was now a lion for God, telling the leaders who wanted to flog and jail him, "We must obey God, rather than man." (Acts 5:29)
What a change . . . what an incredible set of new life skills. What had happened to Peter?
We'll talk about this change tomorrow.