Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peter...Part I

“One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” (John 1:40-41)
My name is Simon son of Jonah. I never did quite figure out if we were related to God’s great prophet, but growing up I liked to think so. I never ceased to enjoy hearing my Father tell the story of how this man of God (whose name he shared) ran away from God and His plan, and God used a storm and a whale to bring him back to his senses. Interesting isn’t it, how one can find mercy even in the whales belly.

I don’t mean to ramble. I am getting to a point. As a young lad, I had no idea the impact this story would have on me—and all mankind. I was simply focused on becoming the best fishermen I could be so that I could take over the family business. I was bold and brash. I carried myself in a way that told everyone I was in control. Until one day, a Jewish Carpenter changed everything…

I remember the day I met Jesus like it was yesterday. I can still see Andrew running toward me, the sand on the Galilean shoreline leaving great clouds of dust in his wake “Simon,” he said breathlessly, “We have found the Messiah!”

What could I say to that? I didn’t want to dampen his enthusiasm, but we had been waiting for God’s Chosen One for centuries. How could he be so sure? I’ve always been the practical one in the family, so I followed Andrew. I had to see for myself.

Two things spring to mind about my early days with the Master. First, he knew me immediately. He said to me “Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas.” If you’ve read the Gospels, you know me as Peter. He called me a rock. Though that probably makes sense to you now, it didn’t to me at the time. I was just a simple fisherman trying to make a living.

That leads me to my second observation. One day when Jesus was preaching he asked to use my boat. I did, but I felt uncomfortable the whole time. Usually when meeting someone new it is a human tendency for us to put our best foot forward and hide our flaws. With Jesus, I instinctively knew this was impossible. One look in His eyes, and I knew he could tell me more about me than even I knew—and that was bad enough.

He knew about the argument I had with my wife that morning…
He knew the pride in my heart…
He even knew my inner thoughts which often strayed to things unspeakable
He knew everything about me!

Perhaps that’s why I momentarily resisted Jesus’ call to follow Him! I’ll never forget the miracle catch of fish that day or my words to the Master “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Far more significant, were Jesus words to me “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” Little did I know where those words would lead me…

To Be Continued…
Andrew Gommesen

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