Bible Characters – Peter

Peter and his brother, Andrew, were fisherman who became disciples of Jesus. Matthew 14:22-33 outlines the well-known story of Jesus and Peter walking on water:

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Peter denied that he was a friend of Jesus after Jesus was arrested. Read that brief story, found in John 18 NIV

The book of Acts has been called, by some, the acts of Peter and Paul. Peter received power at Pentecost to become one of the most influential leaders of the early church. He wrote two letters to the church – 1 and 2 Peter.

Activity:

Read the story of Peter in the various passages outlined below.

As you read about Peter, remember that he made many mistakes.  In spite of this, God redeemed him and gave him a future and a hope. Remember that God is the giver of hope, no matter what choices you made in the past!

Mark 1:17 (Peter’s call)

John 13:8-9 (Peter wants to wash Jesus’ Feet)

Mark 8:27-30 (Peter proclaims Jesus as Christ)

Matthew 26:31-35 (Jesus predicts Peter’s denial of Him)

Mark 14:47-70 (Peter with Jesus in Gethsemane)

Luke 22:54-62 (Peter’s denial of Christ)

John 21:15-17 (Peter receives Jesus’ forgiveness)

Acts 10:10-28 (Peter’s future ministry)

I and II Peter

Answer these questions in your journal:

Did you identify with Peter?  Why or why not?

What was your favorite part of the life of Peter?

Points to Remember about Peter:

He was a common, working man with little education – a humble fisherman.

He was a disciple of Christ so he witnessed the many miracles and revelations of Christ’s ministry on earth.

He brought his brother to Jesus.

He was good hearted but very impulsive.

When put in a corner, Peter resorted to violence believing that he could save Jesus from the soldiers before his arrest. Jesus had to stop in the middle of His trauma of being arrested to heal the servant’s ear after Peter cut it off.

Jesus predicted Peter would deny Him three times – and Peter quickly fulfilled this prophesy because he feared for his own life.

Peter was a liar.

Peter and John were one of the first to see Jesus in His resurrected body.

Peter was the first person to receive forgiveness from Jesus after His death.

Peter preached at Pentecost and 5,000 were saved.

Peter was an important leader in the early church of Christ.

How are you like Peter?

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