1. During His ministry, Jesus occasionally mentioned Bible characters as He was teaching. a. (Luke 4:25-26) He mentioned Elijah's dealings with the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17). b. (Luke 4:27) He referred to Elisha and Naaman (2 Kings 5). c. (Luke 17:26-27) He talked about Noah (Genesis 6-7). d. (Luke 17:32) He mentioned Lot's wife (Genesis 19). 2. Jesus mentioned these people to illustrate the lessons He was presenting. a. There are some positive lessons to learn from Bible characters. b. There are also some negative lessons to learn. 3. In our lesson we are examining a Bible character who can help us understand some positive as well as some negative lessons: Simon Peter. 4. Let us begin with . . .
I. SOME POSITIVE MATTERS
A. Peter demonstrated great faith when Jesus called him. 1. Peter was introduced to Jesus by his brother, Andrew (John 1:40-42). a. From the beginning, Jesus saw potential in Peter. b. Jesus indicated that Peter would develop into a strong follower of His. 2. Peter eventually left his fishing nets to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:18-20). B. Peter clearly understood who Jesus is. 1. (Matthew 16:16) Peter identified Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the living God." 2. (John 6:66-69) Peter maintained this belief when many of the Lord's disciples left Him. C. In a positive way, Peter demonstrated great faith when Jesus called him, and he clearly understood who Jesus is. D. Let us turn our attention to . . .
II. SOME NEGATIVE MATTERS
A. (Matthew 16:21-23) Peter rebuked Jesus -- he was not willing to accept God's will. B. (John 13:6-8a) Peter refused to allow Jesus to wash his feet. 1. Jesus was trying to teach Peter and the other apostles a lesson, and He reasoned with Peter in vs.8b. 2. Thankfully, Peter had a change of mind (vs.9).
III. WHAT LESSONS DID PETER NEED TO LEARN?
A. To be a true follower of Christ, a person must "deny self" (Luke 9:23). 1. Peter denied himself when he left his nets to follow Jesus. 2. However, there were other times when he had problems denying himself, and this affected his relationship with the Lord. B. To be a true follower of Christ, a person must not be ashamed of Jesus and His words (Luke 9:26). 1. Peter was not ashamed when he identified Jesus as God's Son. 2. However, there were times when he had problems submitting to the Lord's instructions, and this affected his relationship with Jesus. 3. Peter needed to learn that it will do no good to call Jesus "Lord" without following His teachings (Luke 6:46).
1. Peter wrote the verses we studied this morning, and we can learn much from his writings. 2. We can also learn much by observing his life. a. He learned from his mistakes. b. He overcame his weaknesses that we have considered. c. He became one of the Lord's most devoted followers, and the Lord used him to lead many souls to become Christians.