When Jesus called him to a life of discipleship and service, Peter left his fishing career to become a leader in the church at Jerusalem. We can learn much from both the high and low points of his transformation.
Peter publicly acknowledged that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. When the Lord asked the disciples who they believed He was, Peter spoke up and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). He boldly confessed his faith in front of the other disciples and didn’t hold back for fear of their opinion. In a similar way, the basis for our identity—in public as well as in private—ought to be that we are followers of Christ. Our words and actions should proclaim to those around us that we belong to Him.
After Christ’s arrest, Peter’s faith faltered. When he was challenged about having been with Jesus, he denied it. Just as the Lord had predicted, the apostle refused three times to acknowledge their relationship. How bitterly the disciple wept about what he’d done (Matt. 26:69-75). But following the resurrection, Jesus forgave Peter and then called him to love the lost “sheep” of the world (John 21:15-17). After being filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter began his ministry by sharing the gospel with thousands of people. (See Acts 2:6-11, 41.) Through God’s power, many were saved.
Peter is a good example of the type of person our heavenly Father can use—someone with strengths and weaknesses, who learns from mistakes and is surrendered to the Lord for His purposes. Have you committed yourself to following God’s plan for your life?