A Traitor Restored By Jesus


Caravaggio Crucifixion of Peter Wikicommons

The Crucifixion of St Peter
Painting by Caravaggio

Peter's First Encounter With Jesus

Peter the fisherman was introduced to Jesus by his brother Andrew   (JOHN 1:35-42)

And straightaway Jesus sees the potential in this rough fisherman because he says:

"You're Simon son of John but you're going to be Cephas - Peter the Rock!"

We're not told what Peter's reaction to this prophetic word was but the next time we hear of him is when Jesus visits his mother-in=law and heals her (LUKE 4:38-39)

An Overwhelming Encounter With Jesus   LUKE 5:1-11

Peter and his fellow disciples have been fishing all night and caught nothing. As they are mending their nets on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, Jesus appears, gets into Peter's boat and asks him to launch it out a bit so he can address the crowd that had gathered on the beach. 

When Jesus has finished his speech, he turns and says to Peter:

"Launch out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch."

Here we have a carpenter's son telling an experienced fisherman how to catch fish! Peter is understandably peeved at being told what to do, especially since they had caught nothing the previous night.

"Rabbi, we've spent the whole night fishing and caught nothing. In any case it's broad daylight and the fish will see our hooks coming at them like anchors. But if you say so........" and reluctantly he puts out into deeper water and they begin fishing all over again.

And immediately they are into an enormous shoal of fish, so large in fact that the nets are about to break. Signalling to the others to help,they make their way back to the shore, dragging the catch behind them. As soon as they land, Peter falls down on his hands and knees in front of Jesus and says:

"Get away from me, LORD! I'm just a sinner."

He realises that Jesus is in a different league and has just performed a miracle. Jesus' response is to lift Peter to his feet and say to him:

"It's okay! From now on you're going to be fishing for men and women instead of fish! Follow me!"

And it's the start of the disciples' incredible three year journey with Jesus as he goes about telling people to repent of their sins because God's kingdom-rule has arrived in his person and teaching the disciples how to heal the sick and set people free from the demonic spirits that kept them in bondage.

Jesus' Warning About His Impending Arrest & Execution  MATTHEW 16:13-27

Just before he goes up to Jerusalem for the last time, Jesus asks his disciples who people think he is. He is concerned that the people see him as someone who will lead them to rebel against Roman oppression and establish himself as king. But he is also keen to discover whether the disciples are ready for the reality of what he is about to share with them  -  namely, that he is going to be arrested and be executed like a common criminal.

In MATTHEW Chapter 16 Jesus asks the disciples:

"Who do people say that I am?"

They reply that people think he's John the Baptist come back to life after just being executed by King Herod or Elijah or one of the prophets. And Jesus then says:

"But who do you think I am?"

Peter's Inspired Realisation That Jesus Is The Messiah

In his usual impetuous way Peter jumps in with both feet and says:

"LORD, you're God's anointed Messiah,  the Son of the Living God."

And Jesus says:

"Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter (Greek  Petros), and on this rock (Greek petraI will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."

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