When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, 'Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.'
But Simon answered and said to Him, 'Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your Word I will let down the net.' And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking... When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' Knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!'
For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.' So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
As a tough professional fisherman, as the number one man behind Jesus, as the biggest talker on His new team, as the only one who walked on water, as the first to declare Him Messiah, as the friend who bragged he would not falter, as the warrior who fought for his King, as a denyer when he was questioned, as a dejected, fearful disciple, as a Spirited, fearless confessor, Peter is a man worthy of study.
Consider some of his highs and lows:
1) Peter had a big personality and was a natural leader of men. His highs were nothing less than amazing, as a first responder to God's Own Son.
2) But a man who steps out before others, a man who speaks up when others clam up, a man who follows Jesus Christ closely, will become a top target for Satan.**
3) In the case of Simon, Son of Jonah, he was tempted by fear in high water and later in the court of the high priest. He was tempted to give worldly advice.***
4) He was even tempted among the Jews to follow prideful, dead-end traditions.**** But in all of Peter's faints and foibles, he was correctable and penitent.
5) Peter's leadership provides a model of a flesh and blood, slightly flawed hero: a man humble enough to become great: a rock solid saint, rebuilt by Jesus.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: What can Peter's leadership teach you? Maybe every saint is a work in progress, so don't expect or seek flawlessness. Maybe leaders step out and speak up, because management requires action. Still, a big heart is foundational and humility is essential. Maybe mistakes are not deal-breakers, but instead are character-makers. Maybe God's defining of a rock isn't to be unfailingly strong, but is to be broken and reshaped from the only truly perfect Stone.
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotion, Why Peter? http://amtcdevotions.org/why-peter
* Short article: What should we learn from the life of Peter? http://www.gotquestions.org/life-Peter.html
** 'And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren' (Luke 22:31-32).
*** 'But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men' ' (Matthew 16:23).
**** Paul corrects Peter at Antioch: Galatians 2:11-21: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=gal+2%3A11-21&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Enemy's Game series.