Peter, the Imperfect, Beloved Disciple

“And Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they told Him, saying, ‘John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.’ And He continued by questioning them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said to Him, ‘Thou art the Christ.’ And He warned them to tell no one about Him.

“And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, and said, ‘Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.'” Mark 8:27-33 NASB


“But who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked His disciples….

Peter’s answer to the Lord that day was that He was the Christ, which was exactly right. But, thereafter, he spoke amiss, for he hadn’t yet fully discerned the Lord’s role in the world’s most important spiritual fight.

“Get behind Me, Satan…” was Jesus’ firm rebuke….

Peter had doubts in obeying Jesus, to cast out his fishing nets, having worked all night; yet, in another instance, he boldly walked on the water to meet Him, but, then, gave in to fright….

Again, at the Last Supper, when the Lord came to Peter to wash his feet, he didn’t initially understand the Father’s direction that Jesus was wanting to meet.

Then, when he denied the Lord three times after Jesus had been seized and led away, he became an example of one who repents and goes on to serve God, receiving mercy for a “new day.”

After Jesus’ resurrection, Peter eagerly jumped from his boat into the water to meet the Lord who had appeared on the shore. There, Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him, knowing he would love and serve Him now all the more.

Peter indeed went on to “feed My sheep” as Jesus, his Lord, had made request. We, too, though imperfect followers of Christ, can carry forth the gospel’s work, so that others will be blessed.

P. A. Oltrogge

“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’

“And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’

“Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep.'”

John 21:17 NKJV

(And from John 13:1-17; Matthew 26:31-35; John 13:36-38; Matthew 26:69-75; Luke 22:54-62)

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