First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Building a Foundation of Faith (a)
The four Gospels provide us with an interesting study on faith in the life of Peter:
According to Josephus, Peter was in his early to mid-twenties when he began following Jesus. He was married, had a house, owned a boat with his brother, Andrew, and partnered in a fishing business with James and John, who also owned a boat.
During his three years of following Jesus, Peter watched Jesus turn water into wine, heal his mother-in-law, raise three people from the dead (Talitha, man from Nain, and Lazarus), cast out two thousand demons from one man, feed the five thousand, feed the four thousand, and do countless miracles, which John stated “if they were written in detail…the world could not contain the books that would be written.”
Besides all the signs, wonders, and miracles, it was Peter who called out to Jesus, “…command me to come to You on the water.” Why did Peter make his request to walk on water in such an odd manner?
When Peter saw the wind and waves, he began to sink. Jesus reached out His hand and saved him, but why did Jesus say to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After all, there were eleven disciples still sitting safely inside the boat who had zero faith to step out of the boat and walk on water. Why would Jesus be so tough on Peter who at least had enough faith to get out of the boat?
There was also the time the temple authorities asked Peter whether Jesus would pay the two-drachma temple tax. Peter said, “Yes.” But when Peter arrived at the home of Jesus, the Lord spoke first and gave him a short teaching on sons versus strangers. Jesus said to Peter:
“…go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me. (Matthew 17:27)
Why was Peter given such an unusual supernatural assignment? Why not one of the other disciples?
It all goes back to when Peter first met Jesus along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus used Peter’s boat as a teaching platform and afterward He directed Peter to sail his boat out into the Sea of Galilee to drop the nets into deep waters. Jesus’ words were totally opposite to how a Galilean fisherman caught fish, as fishing was done at night, never during the day.
Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets. (Luke 5:5)
When Peter obeyed Jesus’ words, the results were so successful Peter had to signal for James and John to bring their boat out to help with the fishing catch. That experience caused Peter, Andrew, James, and John to leave the fishing business and follow Jesus. (29)
This revelation of listening to the words of Jesus and then obeying His directions became a foundation for Peter’s faith. If you look closely at the four Gospels, you will notice it was usually Peter who answered Jesus’ questions or had inspired revelations which he then spoke.
Before the apostle Paul arrived on the scene, Peter had this revelation:
So then, faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
It was Peter who denied Christ three times. And why did that happen?
(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)