#1 (The 12 Disciples
"PETER -- THE IMPETUOUS!"
14:26-31; 17:1-4,6 Jn.
6:66-69; 21:7;15-17; Lk. 5:1-11; 22:31-32,49-62; 24:12
INTRO: When you
stop and think about the Apostles you probably have in your mind a picture of
great men of God who healed the sick, raised the dead, did great miracles
everywhere they went, and exercised faith that was unshakable and perfect – and
if you do, you are not thinking about the 12 apostles that followed
The kind of men that
became Jesus' right hand men were very much like you me, Jesus hand picked them
and they were quite a motley crew!
Studying them will help us appreciate the love God has in picking us to
be His followers ... we have many of the same weaknesses that these so called
"giants" of the faith did, and some of their strengths
ILLUS: THE GREAT
PREACHER SPURGEON ONCED SAID, "IT IS A GOOD THING THAT GOD CHOSE ME BEFORE I WAS
BORN, BECAUSE HE SURELY WOULD NOT HAVE AFTERWARDS!" -- SOURCE
If you think that you have
problems with doubts, or struggle with being obedient, you are in good company
... not only with Christians sitting around you right now but also those who
walked with Jesus in His own day!
SENT: While Peter was quite
impetuous, God saw the potential of the man who would one day be capable of
leading His Church and be steady; weaknesses on our part do not disqualify us
for being loved by God and used by Him ... we have
I. JUMP FIRST! Matt. 14:28-31; Lk. 24:12; Jn. 21:7;
Matt. 14:28-31; Lk. 24:12; Jn. 21:7
1. Peter had this thing for "jumping into things!" -- or "jumping" before
a. His nature was to immediately
respond to emotional stirrings!
b. This was a double edged sword
quality; if the right thing came along he was quick to commit to it, however,
around the wrong crowd or the wrong event he could just as easily commit to it
c. This made Peter's life quite
interesting, sometimes you loved this guy and at other times you wanted to
2. Like the time Peter jumped overboard to walk on
the water to Jesus -- no thought about what he did until he was on the water and
then saw the waves, taking his eyes off Jesus he begins to
a. This describes a lot of
b. After a stirring sermon they are
ready to make a commitment, it is the follow-through that becomes the problem,
especially when they see the stormy seas around
3. When the women tell Peter and the
others that Jesus was alive he JUMPED
UP and ran to the tomb to see for himself -- a quick start, just not a good
marathon runner yet! Lk. 24:12
4. When Peter realized it was Jesus on
the shore he JUMPED into the water and
swam to shore to be with Him!
5. Peter is likeable; you can't help
but love a guy that is this motivated!
a. Jesus saw potential, impetuous
people have it!
b. Focusing or channeling their
emotions is all that they need, and to help them learn to think before they
1. There are those shining moments
however when Peter is moved to jump for the right thing, such as his commitment
2. Though many others stopped
following Christ when they realized how hard the commitment was going to be,
Peter didn't flinch; at least not on this
3. People who have strong emotions can
be strongly committed, at least until some other strong emotion comes along that
pulls them aside or to something else.
a. Peter later would deny Jesus when
he was extremely fearful and disillusioned.
b. Once however those fears were
relieved by Jesus' appearance he came back!
4. Impetuous disciples are very
motivated people, they are quick to move on something, although they may not
have thought through all the dynamics.
a. Peter was a great
b. Perhaps this is why he typified the
whole group on the day of Pentecost; he becomes the first spokesman and leader
of the new Pentecostal Church!
c. Later he is confronted by Paul for
reacting emotionally with some Gentiles while his Jewish brethren came, he was
acting like a hypocrite and Paul calls him down on this publicly. Peter was
d. It is interesting to note however
that this was not viewed by God as a negative trait; Jesus picked Peter to be
the leader of the group!
e. Emotions are good -- they just need
5. Give me "jump first" Christians over “never move” ones any
a. It is easier to steer a ship
than to push one!
b. "A live dog is
better than a dead lion." Eccl.
c. Impetuous people tend to feel
guilty and insecure because of their nature, yet these are people that God
desires and is willing to shape -- power under
II. JUST FEARFUL! Matt. 14:26-27;
1. Impetuous people can be sensitive
to fear, this is what at times makes them "jumpy!"
a. Peter often did crazy things when
he was afraid!
b. Fear is an emotion ... which is a
part of a "Peter"
c. When Peter first saw Jesus walking
on the water he cried out in great fear thinking Jesus was ghost, then when he
knew it wasn't he jumped off the boat and started walking toward Jesus until of
course he started sinking because of fear over the waves, then Jesus rescued
2. "Peter" people can be fearful people;
they may lean towards "worry" at
3. Peter was afraid when God spoke
from heaven and said how "pleased He was with His son Jesus" ... Peter
fell to the ground in fear, Jesus had to reassure him and tell him to get
up! Matt. 17:6
4. Sometimes the "Peters" miss out because of their
ILLUS: THE PREMIER
SCIENCE-FICTION WRITER RAY BRADBURY WON A TOP AWARD IN 1968 FROM THE
AVIATION/SPACE WRITERS ASSOCIATION FOR A LIFE MAGAZINE ARTICLE HE WROTE IN
PRAISE OF SPACE EXPLORATION, BUT BRADBURY DIDN'T ATTEND THE ASSOCIATION'S AWARDS
MEETING IN FLORIDA, HE LIVES IN LOS ANGELES AND HE IS TOO AFRAID TO FLY! -- SOURCE
5. There is probably a little bit of a
"Peter personality" in
ILLUS: ONE OF THE
ASTRONAUTS THAT WALKED ON THE MOON SEVERAL YEARS AGO WAS INTERVIEWED ABOUT WHAT
HE FELT THE MOMENT HE STEPPED FOOT ON THE MOON, WHAT EMOTION CAME TO HIM? HIS ANSWERED REVEALED A MAN LIKE PETER;
"I REMEMBER THINKING H0W THE SPACECRAFT WAS BUILT BY THE LOWEST BIDDER!" FEAR GAVE HIM HIS FIRST THOUGHTS, BEFORE
HE COULD EVEN ENJOY THE BEAUTY AND MYSTERY OF BEING WHERE “NO MAN HAD BEEN
BEFORE!” -- SOURCE
B. Confused! Lk. 22:49-62;
1. Peter when confused acted strange;
in this case he cuts off an ear of a servant who was trying to arrest
2. During unexpected moments "Peters" can react with panic, emotions
drive them to act without thinking first!
3. Even when Peter saw Jesus after the
resurrection he is confused and in panic again thinks Jesus is a
a. Confusion can come with this
personality trait, what is needed is information and
b. Jesus at this point offers Peter
and the others the chance to touch Him and feel His scars so they would realize
this was real, and not be afraid or confused!
4. YET -- Jesus loves this
a. Fortunately, Jesus sees much more
than just our weaknesses, in fact, it is Peter's weakness -- his emotionally
strong reactions that will become his strength once they are focused and
b. Brings to mind the verse, "When we are weak
we are strong."
III. JESUS' FAVORITE Matt. 17:1-4;
26:36-46; Lk. 22:31-32; Jn.
A. Communion Matt. 17:1-4;
1. It is noteworthy that Jesus often
picked Peter to be with Him when others were
a. When Jesus is transfigured Peter
was there, of course he reacted emotionally and told Jesus how they should erect
3 tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for
b. While Jesus didn't appreciate the
offer Jesus still loved the man!
c. Jesus kept Peter close to Him, this
close communion is what Peter needed for the balance in his
2. All this close communion will
eventually overcome Peter’s weaknesses, you can't be around Jesus in such close
communion and not have it effect you!
MISSIONARY TO CHINA WAS IN LANGUAGE SCHOOL, WHEN THE TEACHER CAME IN SHE SAID
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! THE TEACHER
MERELY WALKED AROUND THE ROOM SEVERAL TIMES AND SAT DOWN. SOME TIME LATER SHE FINALLY SPOKE AND
ASKED, "DID YOU NOTICE ANYTHING SPECIAL ABOUT ME WHEN I CAME INTO CLASS?" NOBODY COULD THINK OF ANYTHING EXCEPT
THAT SHE NEVER SAID A WORD. ONE
STUDENT FINALLY SAID, "YOU WERE WEARING A LOVELY PERFUME." THE TEACHER SAID, "THAT'S IT!" SHE FURTHER EXPLAINED, "IT WILL BE A
LONG TIME BEFORE ANY OF YOU STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO SPEAK TO THE CHINESE IN
THEIR LANGUAGE, YET YOU CAN MINISTER JESUS CHRIST TO THEM BY THE "FRAGRANCE" OF
HIS LIFE IN YOUR ACTIONS. THEY WILL
KNOW THAT YOU WERE WITH JESUS BEFORE THEY HEAR YOU TALK ABOUT HIM IN THEIR
LANGUAGE! -- SOURCE
3. Jesus took Peter, James, and John
with Him in the garden of Gethsemane, His closest friends. Out of those three Peter seems to be the
closest for when Jesus comes back to find them it is Peter He speaks to
a. Jesus' toughest time was spent in
communion with Peter, though Peter slept through
b. Jesus' choice would not likely be
ours ... but again, He sees what we do not!
4. Peter represents the kind of
disciple that Jesus loves, impetuous but loved!
a. There is hope
b. If Jesus can take Peter He might do
well with you!
B. Commissioned Lk. 22:31-32; Jn.
1. Jesus' confidence in Peter is shown
a. Jesus states Satan's desire to sift
Peter like wheat -- yet,
b. Jesus prayed for Peter and tells
him that when it is all over, after Peter has failed he will yet "strengthen his
c. Jesus was confident that Peter
would turn back again!
2. Impetuous doesn't mean stupid,
Peter might react out of fear and do the wrong thing but He knew Peter wasn't
shallow or dumb; Peter would be a "rock!"
3. Jesus' final commission was in
a. 3 times Jesus asks Peter if Peter
b. Peter is hurt by this 3 fold
asking, yet this is what Peter needed to get rid of his own pain, after all, he
had denied Jesus 3 times days earlier!
c. After each affirmation Jesus
instructs Peter to "FEED MY SHEEP" or “LAMBS”
... in other words -- lead!
4. Jesus' trust in Peter is revealed at the
end, it is to Peter that Jesus gives instructions for pastoral ministry, this
emotional guy who often reacted from the emotion of the moment is Christ's
choice of leadership!
a. It is true that it took years with
Christ to bring discipline to his emotional
b. Jesus' love and guidance for an
impetuous man gives hope for all of us who tend to be ruled by our emotions or
the events of the moment ... keep your love for Christ, and when you make a
mistake come back. Jesus loves you
more than you can know!
5. Jesus' final words to Peter in this
a. This is how his nature would stay
b. As he followed Christ his very
weakness would become the passion to do God's work and stay on
6. There is yet hope for us
PENTECOSTAL CHRISTIANS, YOU KNOW -- ALL US EMOTIONAL
CONCLUSION: Peter is easy to identify with, like so many of us we go from hot to cold in our walk with God, often we are afraid, yet God loves us deeply! Like Peter, our Lord keeps working with us. Peter became a great disciple -- and so can you!