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4 Reasons Peter is a Failure And So Are You (Happy Ending Included)
1.You Didn't Do It
Peter was doing his own thing which happened to be fishing (Matthew 3:18). He was working to build up his kingdom (which probably had a smell to it). Each Gospel shows how Peter wasn’t seeking Christ at all. We are just like this. We don’t seek him naturally. Whenever we encounter Christ it is because He seeks us. Even those that we see are seeking Jesus, we can know that it is initiated by God (John 6:44) and not of their own accord. That means that God is responsible for your faith. It’s not something to be proud of in a sinful manner, but rather confessing our sinful brokenness, that we are lucky enough to be so loved by God that he would save us from ourselves (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-10).
2. If You did, You did it Wrong
Many people, like the Pharisees, take so much pride in how faithful they are. Yet in all their piety (not that it’s necessarily a bad thing), they take pride in their faith because it’s something they have tricked themselves into believing they built. It doesn’t take long and they are looking at the clientele of Walmart and turning their nose up at them, rather than having their heart broken for symptoms of sin in this world (FYI, I’m just as guilty). Peter was just like this. He got so cocky that he thought he could tell Jesus what he wasn’t going to do (Mark 8:33; which didn’t go well for him at all). Jesus was quick to let him know that his heart was in the wrong place and he had focused too much on the things of this earth and not of the things of God. We fall into this trap all too often and begin to do things that have short term rewards (pride, recognition of men, certain relationships etc.) rather than things that have heavenly worth. A friend of mine used to describe this as “eating the has-been-opened-on-the-counter-for-a-week Spagettios right before you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner” syndrome. Humility is so important because it is the key that unlocks so much in your walk with Christ
3. When Push Comes to Shove, You Fold.
Peter was all talk until it came time to own up to Jesus. In the same night that he would stand up in the comfort of the upper room and tell Jesus that he needed a full on sponge bath to be in the Kingdom, he would cower when a few onlookers asked him if he was one of Jesus disciples. (This is insane since the just lobbed off some guys ear in the garden trying to defend Jesus….yeah, that’s right his ear. Let’s give Peter props for his terrible aim with a sword.) In the course of the night, the high and mighty Peter (who Jesus had declared the Church would be built on) had cowered when a young girl simply asked him if he knew Jesus. The worst part is, he isn’t alone. How many times have you been angry and acted less than Christ like? How many times did you feel the Holy Spirit press on you to speak to someone or do something and you come up with an excuse? How many times have you been tempted, but instead of praying you simply folded and promised yourself and God next time would be different? How many times? Here’s the secret, we are all just like Peter. We all deny Christ when the time comes to own up to our relationship with Him. Don’t throw a stone at Peter, because he is just like me and you.
4. When You Screw Up, You Hide
Where do we find the high and mighty Peter after the crucifixion? Fishing. It’s unbelievably aggravating to study and it had to be insanely aggravating for Jesus. After everything that had happened, after all that He had shown Peter and the other disciples, Jesus goes out once again on the shore to bring Peter back. Peter had been knocked off his high horse and tasted a face full of mud. This is the guy that was THE MAN among the disciples (that never seemed to really get it) that was supposed to be the cornerstone of the Kingdom, yet he had failed. We see that Peter didn’t really understand grace at this point, because he wouldn’t claim the blessing of forgiveness. We also see that Peter was more interested in his self-loathing and hatred than doing what Jesus told him to. That’s why as soon as Jesus sits down with him he asks him, “Do you love me?” Jesus promptly reminds him to “Feed My Sheep”. We are just like Peter. When our pride has been hurt, when we have messed up, we retreat to doing what we are used to. We seek the sense of normalcy and comfort of our old ways rather than pressing into Jesus and embracing His grace and forgiveness. We ignore the fact that the fight is on and there are hearts and lives at stake. Instead, we are more focused in crying about our failures and pursing things of this life rather than being obedient to the One we love.
But There is Always Hope
Jesus didn't leave Peter on the shore. Instead He would pick him up, dust him off, and stick him back in the fight. This time Peter would soon receive the Holy Spirit and for the rest of the New Testament he would be a mover and a shaker in the early Church. Peter was a screw up, the same as you and I, but that didn't stop God’s grace from using every one of his flaws, misdeeds, and bad choices from pushing back the veil of the enemy and saving souls on an insanely exponential basis. No matter what you have done, there is still room for you in the Kingdom. Furthermore, no matter how terrible you are or how gruesome your past is, not only does Christ want you, but he wants to use you too. He wants you back in the game, He wants to use you in the fight. You’re reading this now because he is drawing you to Him. He can use every sin, flaw, or blemish on your heart, mind, and soul for His glory and the betterment of his Kingdom. All you have to do is love Him and the rest will work itself out.
© 2015 Brandon Sanders