Relationships – Jesus and Peter

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

  • Luke 5:4-11

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

  • Matthew 16:13-20

Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
“You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter.
He replied, “I am not.”
It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself. …
Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”
He denied it, saying, “I am not.”
One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

  • John 18:15-18, 25-27

 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

  • John 21:15-23

A Quote

[John 21:15-17]: ”Fishing is not all, as many seem to think. It is a great part of our service, and would God, it were more attended to. But after it has been attended to, shepherding comes in and is a work of equal weight. Our Lord Jesus Christ would have his servants attend to this second task with all their hearts. If souls are converted, they have been brought up from the depths of sin, and the scene changes. We see a flock, ‘the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood’ (Ac 20:28). This flock needs as much care as any other. Yes, it needs to be tended with the utmost labor and watchfulness. The Lord Jesus himself is the good Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep (Jn 10:11), the great Shepherd who is brought again from the dead (Heb 13:20), and the chief Shepherd under whom he has appointed shepherds to watch for the souls of men (1 Pt 5:4). He will have those of us whom he calls to his service to shepherd those who are converted—leading, protecting, feeding, comforting, and helping them. He will call us to account if we neglect this charge, for he will require his flock at our hands, saying, ‘Where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock?’ ”

  • Charles Spurgeon, from his sermon notes

What Do We Know about their Relationship?

Note: The photo above is of a grandson named Peter. He lacks a lot measuring up to the Apostle Peter, but he is quite the talker.

We know that, among the disciples, Simon Peter is the spokesperson.  We know that the name of “Peter” is significant with the “rock”, but that may be Jesus being the Messiah as much as Peter being a rock.  Peter proves to be very un-rocklike during the trial of Jesus, but Jesus reinstates Peter with the charge for Peter to feed Jesus’ sheep.

At first Peter realizes that Jesus is someone of great power.  Peter was a fisherman, and he knew casting the nets at that hour would not produce many fish, especially with not catching anything at night when the fish are near the surface, looking for food.

We could get more information from other comments Peter said, such as making booths at the Mount of Transfiguration, asking Jesus to wash not just his feet but his whole body once Jesus explained that Peter needed his feet washed or he would not enter the kingdom of Heaven, and other such times when Peter may have spoken without thinking.

In other Scriptures, not quoted, it is Andrew who tells Simon that he thinks he has met the Messiah (or Promised One, or words to that effect), but in the Scripture quoted above, it is Peter who encounters Jesus.

What Can We Infer about their Relationship?

Peter’s speaking without thinking points to him being an extrovert.  It is said that extroverts often speak before their brain is in gear, while the introvert, when given the option, will not speak at all until what the introvert says is well practiced in their minds, many times having other people think the introvert is dull and a poor conversationalist.  But looking at what Peter says in the synoptic gospels is somewhat comical at times.

To avoid any conspiracy theory or conflicting story.  Andrew was probably a follower of John who saw Jesus and John points Jesus out.  These disciples, many thinking to be Andrew and John, sought out Jesus.  Then they went back to their fishing business.  And after the large catch of fish, they dropped everything and followed.  It would be odd if Jesus went up to a total stranger to ask Simon Peter to go out into deeper waters.  Thus, we can infer that they already knew each other, with an Andrew introduction and then followed thereafter.

We might infer that Jesus is granting Simon Peter as the leader of the disciples when He reinstates Peter, but many think that this is only a reinstatement to disciple/apostle status.  Peter, being the most vocal of the disciples might look like the leader, but in fact, God wanted the disciples to spread out so that they might spread the Word to the known populations of the world.  Thus, they were each independent under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

In What Ways Can We Fill in the Gaps about their Relationship?

There are many gaps to be filled here, but with Peter being the center of many conversations, we get a much better view of his relationship with Jesus than we get with the others.

I have seen some scenes from The Chosen, but I have not watched any full episodes, also seeing some behind the scenes interviews.  They do a lot of gap filling.  As long as we recognize it as gap filling rather than completely biblical, the series stands up a little better.

What Can We Learn from this Relationship?

We should have a relationship like all the phases of Peter’s walk, following Jesus.  At times, and to an extent always, we need to realize that God is God.  In other words, bowing down before Him and considering ourselves unworthy to even be in His presence is necessary.  A full dose of bowing down and not feeling worthy may not be conducive to becoming a useful servant and growing in a brotherly relationship with our Savior.  Yes, Jesus is God and our brother at the same time.  We need to practice Reverence and Love exhibited at the same time.

Peter failed.  Jesus forgave him.  My most viewed post from 2018 is Did Peter Betray Jesus?  I might love to rewrite what I wrote then, but I tried to convey that Peter would have betrayed Jesus’ mission, His reason for coming to the earth among us, if Peter had continued the fight to overthrow Rome.  Peter denied Jesus to preserve His own neck.  We see that at times in the centuries that follow where Christians hid or even burned incense to Roman gods in order to not be killed.  Yet, at the same time, many chose to be martyrs.  Some people must survive such purges in order to continue spreading the Word in secret, but the church has had mixed responses when people have chosen their own skin in times of life or death.

But whether we can state that Peter betrayed Jesus, Jesus forgave him.  He can forgive us too.

What Have We Learned thus far?

We have learned to:

  • Own our own mistakes and not blame others.
  • Be faithful to God, and worship properly, in the proper spirit.
  • Go to God in prayer, especially before any major decisions.
  • Do not show favoritism among family members, but always go to God.
  • Forgiveness is extremely important for none of us are perfect except for God.
  • Beyond physical love, there are other expressions of love, and respect is very important.
  • A relationship requires maintenance, nurturing, and an acceptance of the roles.
  • Be humble and listen to wise advice, and even wait when necessary.
  • At times, we must be bold and trust God, and we must obey.
  • And to love, love, and love.
  • Be trustworthy.  Trust is required.
  • And don’t worry.  God has this situation, and He has us in the palm of His hand.
  • And remember to forgive others and confess our sins.
  • And never go against what God instructs us to do.
  • And truly believe that God can show you mercy and accept the mercy offered.  Yet remember that it is indeed mercy.
  • Not blindly trust our buddies from our youth as advisors and there may be emotional ties that make their advice sound better than it is.
  • Understand that good cannot compromise with evil.
  • And sometimes you have to weather the storms, both in the home and in the world of public opinion.

A Closing Prayer

We look to You for guidance.  Forgive us when our gaze strays away from You.  Help us to have the right words to say in defense of our faith and also in everything that we do – to glorify You in all things.  Whether we are in a leadership role or one that strictly follows help keep our faith strong and our eyes on You.
In Thy Name we pray,

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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