The twelve apostles included “Simon, who is called Peter” (Matt. 10:2).
God knows how to get results.
God makes leaders by taking people with the right raw material, putting them through the right experiences, and teaching them the right lessons. That’s how he trained Peter, and the results were astonishing. In the first twelve chapters of Acts we see Peter initiating the move to replace Judas with Matthias, preaching powerfully on the Day of Pentecost, healing a lame man, standing up to the Jewish authorities, confronting Ananias and Sapphira, dealing with Simon the magician, healing Aeneas, raising Dorcas from the dead, and taking the gospel to the Gentiles. In addition, he wrote two epistles that pass on to us all the lessons he learned from Jesus. What a leader!
Peter was as much a model of spiritual leadership in death as he was in life. Jesus told him he would be crucified for God’s glory, and early church tradition tells us that Peter was in fact crucified. But before putting him to death, his executioners forced him to watch the crucifixion of his wife. As he stood at the foot of her cross, he encouraged her by saying over and over, “Remember the Lord, remember the Lord.” When it was time for his own crucifixion, he requested that he be crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to die as his Lord had died. His request was granted.
Just as God transformed Peter from a brash and impulsive fisherman into a powerful instrument for His glory, so He can transform everyone who is yielded to Him.
You will never be an apostle, but you can have the same depth of character and know the same joy of serving Christ that Peter knew. There’s no higher calling in the world than to be an instrument of God’s grace. Peter was faithful to that calling—you be faithful too!
Suggestions for Prayer
- Praise God for the assurance that He will perfect the work He has begun in you (Phil. 1:6).
- Ask Him to use the experiences you have today as instruments that shape you more into the image of Christ.
For Further Study
Read John 21:18-23.
- How did Jesus describe Peter’s death?
- What was Peter’s reaction to Christ’s announcement?
- What misunderstanding was generated by their conversation?