The Cloud of Witnesses
Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible
Lesson 5: Peter – Follow Me!
The most important thing in life is to Follow Jesus!
Just imagine being Peter – he was the one who had vehemently denied knowing or being a friend of Jesus. You have been wrestling with all the events over the last few days and can’t quite make it all out. So you return to what you know is safe – to fishing!
Then He turns up again! First of all, He told them to throw the nets on the other side. He always seems to do that – it’s almost a signature greeting with Him! And there was a huge haul of fish. John realised at once that it was Jesus. When he explained it to Peter, Peter grabbed some clothes and jumped into the lake and walked through the surf towards Jesus. He stopped short. Not really afraid to go on but shocked at what he saw. Instead of making a driftwood fire, Jesus had deliberately made a charcoal fire. Why did He have to do that? Peter denied Jesus in front of a charcoal fire – and Peter didn't appreciate the chilling memory.
When they had finished eating, Jesus started talking directly to Peter. Do you love Me? He asked. In fact He went on to ask him three times! 3 times! Exactly the number of times Peter had denied Him! Then Jesus went on to warn Peter that one day he would die the death of a martyr. Peter’s immediate response was – And so what about John? Jesus replied, don’t concern yourself with John; you must follow Me!
Yes, Jesus was concerned for Peter. He knew his denial was because of his humanity and out of a sense of self-preservation. But He also knew his heart, how much he really loved Jesus. So He orchestrated the day to forgive Peter his past. Yes, fully forgive him – all 3 times! He also took that moment to establish him as a leader of His followers. He took that moment to remind Peter that the only person to whom he was responsible was Jesus. Neither was he to compare his role with others – he was just called to Follow Jesus and complete the work God had given him to do.
Peter would say to us today...
Jesus is worth following. He picks us up when we fail. He smiles on us when we frown and He loves us all the time. There is NONE to compare with Him. Following Jesus is the most exhilarating experience anyone can ever have. Don’t worry about others – you must follow Jesus.
Lord Jesus, I hear Your call to me again – Follow Me! Please help me remember that nothing else matters. Please give me the courage to follow, regardless of the inconvenience or the cost. Help me remember that it is through following You alone that Your Kingdom can be established upon the earth. Amen.
1 Samuel 15:1-23; Matthew 7:13-27; Hebrews 12:1-13.
Why does the enemy want us to stop following Jesus?
What are the things in your life which could ‘get in the way’ of you following Jesus?
Why is following Jesus the most important thing in our lives?