Simon Peter, from ordinary to extraordinary

The Standard November 18, 2021

The Chosen, a historical drama based on the life of Jesus Christ, is one of the most successful crowd-funded TV series ever. In the past few years many viewers have become so engaged with watching these programs about Jesus and his followers that they have turned to Scripture to learn more. The writers, directors and producers have tried to stay as close to the biblical accounts as possible, but have added elements of relationships, everyday living and humor to help bring the stories to life. Jesus, Simon Peter, Matthew, Mary Magdalene and Nicodemus are the five main characters in season one.

Known to have been fiery, enthusiastic, impulsive and sometimes brash, Peter’s character adds spark to the show. As one of the three disciples in Jesus’ inner circle, his somewhat ordinary life was blown out of the water to become marvelously extraordinary for the kingdom of God.

“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-20) Later, when Peter recognized Jesus as the one walking to them on water, he jumped out of the boat to meet him. After Jesus let the disciples know he would have to suffer many things and be killed, Peter said this never should happen. Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan.” (Matthew 16:23)

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:13-18)

On the evening of the Last Supper, Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. Then Jesus took his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Soldiers arrived to arrest him. “Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) Jesus commanded Peter, ‘Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?’” (John 18:10-11)

After the resurrection Jesus reinstated Peter. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter became an unflinching leader of the early church and wrote two of the most eloquently worded letters of the New Testament.

 “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk; that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  (1 Peter 2:1-5; 9-10)

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