For all believers in the Lord, there is no one but knows Peter. The record in the Bible says that Peter was a fisherman before meeting the Lord Jesus. One morning, the Lord Jesus came to the lake of Gennesaret, and the people pressed on Him to listen to Him preach. At that moment, Peter and his partners were washing fishing nets beside the ship after fishing on the Sea of Galilee overnight. The Lord Jesus got into Peter’s ship and preached. Leaving preaching, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught” (Luk 5:4). And Simon said to him, “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at your word I will let down the net” (Luk 5:5). Peter believed the Lord Jesus’ words and then let down the nets. Unexpectedly, they caught a lot of fishes so that the nets broke. Peter beckoned James and John to help. They filled both the ships, so that the ships started to sink.
The day before meeting the Lord Jesus, Peter had toiled all the night but got nothing; however, after meeting the Lord Jesus, he followed the Lord’s words to let down the nets and the fishes caught nearly made the ships sink. Peter got not only fishes but also the Lord’s grace and blessings, so he was very happy. What’s more, when the Lord Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mat 4:19), Peter straightway left the net and ship, and followed the Lord Jesus with his brother, James and John.
We see that Peter unhesitatingly left the net and ship, and followed the Lord Jesus. He left not just the visible net, but even more an intangible net which contains affection for his parents, fame and gain, namely the bonds and enjoyment of the secular world.
It was recorded in the Bible that Peter saw many deeds of the Lord Jesus after following Him. For example, Simon’s mother-in-law had a high fever and someone asked the Lord Jesus concerning her. The Lord Jesus went to Simon’s house. He rebuked the fever and it left her, so she received a cure. That night, the Lord Jesus healed many patients and also cast out the spirits from the demon-possessed. Another example, when the disciples besides Peter sailed on the sea, there arose a storm in the sea so that the ship rolled heavily. The Lord Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea and they became pretty calm. Furthermore, the Lord Jesus did many miracles, such as making the blind see, the lame walk and the lepers healed, and raising the dead. The Lord Jesus also told parables of the Kingdom of the Heavens such as the Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Parable of the Leaven. From the Lord Jesus’ word and work, Peter saw God’s authority and power, and recognized that the Lord Jesus is God’s son, the Christ. The experience and knowledge became the foundation of his faith, as well as the driving force of his loving God.
After the Lord Jesus resurrected and ascended, the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost. Peter and the eleven apostles stood up to preach that the Lord Jesus is the Christ and He has resurrected. Consequently about three thousand people were baptized. Then, on the way to the temple, Peter passed the door called Beautiful and asked a certain man lame from his mother’s womb to rise up and walk in the name of the Lord Jesus. When people assembled to have a look, Peter preached again that the Lord Jesus is the Christ, that He has already resurrected, and that man should repent and be converted. At that moment, people who heard the word repented and turned to the Lord Jesus; and the number of the men was about five thousand, which fulfilled the Lord Jesus’ words: “And I will make you fishers of men” (Mat 4:19). Experiencing these, finally he could obey to death, love God to the highest level and be crucified upside down to bear a good testimony, which was upon the foundation of the true knowledge for God. The Lord Jesus said: “And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mat 16:19). Peter followed and served the Lord, gaining God’s approval, and living a valuable and meaningful life.
In the modern age, what do we Christians pursue? Many Christians follow social trends and become ever more corrupt and depraved. Some even like unbelievers pursue money, fame, gain and carnal pleasure, relish the joys of sin, and satisfy their own ambitions and desire by striving hard. Even though we get temporary satisfaction by our efforts, emptiness and suffering will replace it at last. Think of many stars and plutocrats. They have money and influence, and wherever they are, they are looked up to and surrounded by others, but all don’t have a good outcome in the end. … People’s needs in their hearts can’t be filled by money and material things. Even if a man owns priceless family possessions or honorable reputation living in the world, it is not meaningful and worthy but finally empty. Just like Solomon said: “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecc 2:11).
Only when we come before God, follow God, obey God and live for God like Peter, can our spirit gain true peace and joy and can we gain God’s care, protection and blessings, entering into the kingdom of heaven to receive eternal life.
By Chen Zhen