Peter is one of the great Bible heroes. Yet, he was very, very, very human – a guy many of us could easily relate to, due to the ups and downs of his spiritual struggle. We’re calling this series, “Peter’s Metamorphosis” as his development into a strong leader was not an immediate one. For him to blossom into the dynamic apostle who opened the gates of Christ’s kingdom on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, was the result of him going through many traumatic as well as exhilarating experiences during his time with the Lord. His faith in Jesus was like the butterfly struggling to escape the cocoon – it didn’t come easy but, in the end, he had a powerful ministry and died for the cause of Christ. This case study of his maturing process should give each of us encouragement in our struggle to become the Christ-like person we desire to be. Now, just what does this word, “metamorphosis” mean?
A____________________________ PETER MEETS JESUS
Peter was a common man, a fisherman by trade. In many ways, he was a very unlikely candidate to lead a worldwide movement. But Jesus has a way of seeing things that most of us don’t recognize. Here’s their first encounter as recorded in John 1:35-42:
- Who introduced him to Christ? B____________________________________________________________
- What were Andrew’s credentials to make that introduction? C___________________________________
- What change did Jesus immediately make in Peter’s life? D________________________________________
PETER’S PROMISING BEGINNING
“Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You will be called Peter (a rock).’” John 1:42 PETER MAKES A LIFE-CHANGING DECISION! One day not long after, Peter was doing his usual routine, cleaning the nets after a long night of fishing. This day, he, along with his co-workers, were a little frustrated due to the fact that nothing was biting that night. They were bone-tired with nothing to show for their efforts. Then, along came Jesus! Luke 5:2-11 Four questions from this encounter:
- Why did Peter struggle with the Lord’s command to fish again? E________________________________
- What was Peter’s response to the miracle of Jesus? F________________________________________
- What was the Lord’s vision for these men? G________________________________________________
- How did they respond? H_________________________________________________________________
PETER IS ONE OF THE CHOSEN!
The selection by Jesus of his original 12 apostles is found in Matthew 10:1-42; Mark 3:13-19; and Luke 6:12- 16. More questions to consider from this:
- How many disciples did Jesus have? I____________________________________________________________
- Who was mentioned first in each of these lists? J___________________________________________________
- Is there significance in this? K___________________________________________________________________
- What powers were they given? L________________________________________________________________
- What duties were they first given? M_____________________________________________________________
Wow, what a promising beginning for our man Peter! From a humble fisherman to a chosen Apostle! But, before we get too enamored with his rise to leadership, our next lesson will center on some of the struggles he went through in his new-found life with Christ.
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
- From the world of nature, list some examples of “metamorphosis.” Then, list some spiritual parallels to our growth and development in the spiritual realm.
- From what you already know about Peter’s life, what are some reasons why we are referring to his spiritual development as a “metamorphosis”?
- This first message centers on “Peter’s Promising Beginning”, referring to the first few encounters he had with Jesus. When his brother Andrew introduced him to Christ, why did Jesus change his name that very first day? How did it turn out to be a prophetic name change? Did Peter always live up to that name?
- In the second encounter at the side of the lake, Peter goes through a process of struggling with Jesus’ request to go fish some more but seems to quickly change his tune to one of obedience. But then, when the miracle occurs, he is completely overwhelmed with what happened. What are some reasons for this reaction? Have you sometimes felt overwhelmed by the commands of the Lord? How did you go about responding? What were the end results?
- Considering Peter’s background as a common fisherman, as a rather spontaneous person, as one who many times would speak before thinking, and overall a rather unstable, reactionary person, what was it in Peter’s life and character that Jesus saw to the point of appointing him as one of the 12 chosen apostles? What does this say about Peter? What does this say about Jesus? What does this say about your acceptance and role in the kingdom of Christ?