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Fisher of Men

by Susan Ferguson  
11/15/2016 / Devotionals

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.  (Matthew 16:18 NIV)

Simon Peter, one of Jesus' twelve disciples, tops my list of outstanding Bible characters.  God transformed this ordinary fisherman into a powerful leader of the early church.  The folly and humanness of his early life make him a saint that’s relatable to us; therefore, we can learn from his life.

Simon Peter was a man of contradictions.  He was headstrong and impulsive but also humble (Luke 5:1-8) and loyal (John 6:66-68).  If something needed to be said, he said it but was quick to blurt out words before thinking.  A man of faith, Peter was both courageous and fearful.  On one occasion, he climbed out of a boat and walked on water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind, he was frightened and began to sink.  He cried out for help, and Jesus reached out His hand and caught him.  "You of little faith," He said, "why did you doubt?"  (Matthew 14:22-33)

The night before Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter boasted that he would never forsake Christ and would be faithful to Him even unto death.  (Matthew 26:33-35)  But in an hour of crisis, after Jesus’ arrest, he denied knowing Him three times.  After recognizing his failure, Peter wept bitterly.  (Matthew 26:69-75)

Peter’s life did not end in failure.  Jesus loved him, forgave him, and restored him.  On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached boldly, and three thousand people were converted. (Acts 2:1-41) The simple fisherman became a mighty fisher of men.  Persecution followed, but Peter rejoiced that he was counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake.

Heavenly Father, transform our lives to be more and more like Jesus.  Amen.

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