top of page

These Familiar Things Can Kill Meaningful Faith

Simon Peter was a disciple known for his zeal and out-spoken nature. Yet, though he would have some of the highest highs (like walking on water), he would also have some of the lowest lows (such as denying that he was a follower of Jesus during the Crucifixion).


On the other side of Jesus’ resurrection, his approach to Peter’s roller coaster-styled spirituality can not be overlooked. Because, undoubtedly, a significant reason for the redemptive aspect of Peter’s story is directly connected to Heaven calling for Simon Peter specifically:


(The angel at the tomb said to Jesus’ mother Mary and his follower Mary Magdalene) But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” -Mark 16:7 (NKJV)


Did you notice it? The angel instructed the women, “Go, tell his disciples – and Peter….” It was a very personal invitation to Peter while only generalized to the other disciples. This is a significant point considering that Peter was the one disciple who had denied even knowing Jesus during the arrest and mock trial. The angel called the name of the disciple who had rejected any relationship with Jesus.


After Resurrection, Jesus went above and beyond to make things right with Peter. Moreover, the ultimate transition happened when Heaven called Simon Peter’s name specifically while launching the post-resurrection restoration of Jesus’ relationships with disciples. A personal invitation from an angel helped bring Peter back into the fold. It is then, upon his relationship being restored with Jesus, that Simon Peter is reminded of his calling and purpose with one question from Jesus:


So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” -John 21:15 (NKJV)


But, who or what are “these”?


To answer this question, we must remember Jesus’ first moment with Simon Peter to answer this question. First, Jesus called Simon Peter to follow him while Peter was holding his family’s fishing nets. Then, notice Peter’s reaction to the stress of dealing with the Cross and the tomb.


Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing…” -John 21:3 (NKJV)


The context is clear. When Jesus first met Simon Peter, he was on a boat preparing to take over the family business as a multi-generational fisherman. It was probably a successful endeavor that would have provided a stable life. But to follow Jesus, he had to leave it all behind–the boats and the nets.


After all of the disappointment, Peter experienced surrounding Jesus’ arrest and death – when everything was going wrong – Simon Peter returned to a fishing boat. It seems, in an attempt to process his shame, pain, confusion, and condemnation, Peter went back to the “familiar.” For this reason, “these” in the highlighted verse are perceived, by some of the brightest minds in biblical scholarship, to be fish.


Jesus had incredible plans for Peter to leave the boats of “familiarity.” Still, it’s one of the most significant challenges any Jesus-follower faces spiritually. We’ve all denied Jesus, come up short, and made mistakes – we’ve all messed up! And we have all wanted to run back to something familiar on the other side of such shortcomings.


BUT HEAVEN STILL CALLS YOUR NAME, AND THE INVITATION IS STILL THE SAME!


Jesus' first invitation to Peter:


And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw…Simon Peter…Then Jesus said… “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”...immediately they left their nets and followed Him. (Matthew 4:18–22 NKJV)


Nearly three years later, on the other side of denial and sinful mistakes, the invitation hadn’t changed:


And when Jesus had spoken…He said to Simon Peter, “Follow Me.” -John 21:19 (NKJV)


God wants you to come back to His table. He wants you to have a relationship with Him. He wants you to know that you have a purpose beyond your failures. You only have to express that you love Him and then obey Him and deny running back to the safety of familiarity when things are difficult. With the Holy Spirit’s help, get back on your feet and keep following Jesus. You can live a life filled with meaningful faith!


I invite you to view this message in its entirety at this link: https://youtu.be/pPak8_syxOQ


We want to connect with you and help you take your next steps!


1. Do you have a relationship with Jesus? This decision is the first step in receiving peace in your life. If you are ready to give your life to Jesus, we would love to celebrate with you at 3trees.com.


2. Do you need to rededicate your life to Jesus? If yes, please connect with us at 3trees.com.


3. Do you feel God prompting you to take your next steps? If yes, BEGIN is waiting for you! You can walk through our ONLINE BEGIN class at 3trees.com/begin


4. Would you like to make a difference in our community? Join our captivate team! Visit 3trees.com to find out how you can participate in community outreach opportunities.


5. Subscribe to EricGilbert.org using this link: https://www.ericgilbert.org/subscribe. You'll be able to receive updates directly to your email inbox as we post blogs every Monday, Thursday, and Friday morning.

Recent Posts

See All

Minor Prophets

Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Bible Story: Hosea-Malachi The minor prophets are the 12 books that we find at the

Comments


bottom of page