Selected Scriptures



If anyone knew what it meant to have "ups and downs" it was the Apostle Peter.

He was certainly up when his brother Andrew found him and took him to Jesus.

Not only did he find the Messiah, the Savior, The Son of God, but Jesus told him,

"Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone."

(John 1:42)


Not too long after that Peter allowed Jesus to use his boat for some teaching. Jesus then told him to launch out for a catch. Peter was up when he said, "Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net." (Luke 5:5)  Imagine Peter's surprise when two boats began to sink as a result of the catch of fish. Peter was brought low enough to say, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord." (Luke 5:8)  Peter was brought back up by Jesus' encouraging words, "Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men." (Luke 5:10)


Peter had similar "ups and downs" when Jesus walked on the water (Matthew 14:25-32) and when he identifies Jesus as Son of God and then rebukes the Lord for talking about His death (Matthew 16:13-23).


Peter's greatest down time is recorded in Matthew 26:31-35 and 69-75. Peter had "blown it" and done dumb things before, but this denial of Jesus was his greatest failure, his biggest "down".


He was totally done! Was there forgiveness for Him? Was there a second chance? Would Peter ever serve the Master again?


Some time in your life you will feel just like Peter.  You will wonder if the Lord can or will forgive you or if the Lord will ever use you in His service again.  When you feel this way you will be asking the same question that Peter was asking, "What now?"  When this happens, remember the answers that Peter received.


What now, Peter?



Failure because of sin requires forgiveness.

After the final events of Jesus' life, Peter, of all the Apostles, needed forgiveness the most.

He had been most adamant in his loyalty to Christ and most flagrant by denying Him.


In Mark 16:6-7 an angel told the women to tell the Apostles and Peter of the resurrection.

In Luke 24:34 we find that before he appeared to the rest of the disciples, the Lord appeared to Peter. Of course, I am speculating a bit, but I feel the appearance of was so Peter could confess his sin and receive the needed forgiveness.


Sin separates our fellowship with God (Psalm 66:18), but confession restores it (Psalm 32:5, 1 John 1:9).


What now, Peter?


Vss. 1-3 - Why did Simon decide to go fishing? Could it be that although he was forgiven, he went back to secular work? Could it be that although he was forgiven, he no longer felt qualified to serve?


The first time Peter was commissioned, Peter had fished all-night and caught nothing. He then had a great catch at the Lord's command. He was then told to fear not, for he would catch men (Luke 5:1-11).


Vss. 4-7 - The second commissioning of Peter was also preceded by a night of fishing in which nothing was caught. There was also another supernatural catch of fish.


Vss. 9-12 - There is an invitation to "Come and dine." It was after this meal that Jesus talks to Peter. Probably Peter had not yet forgiven himself for the events that had transpired.  Note that as Jesus had been publicly denier by Peter around a fire, now Peter publicly affirms his affection for Jesus before the disciples and before a fire.


Vss. 15-17 -Peter had denied Jesus three times. Peter now reaffirms his love for Jesus 3 times. (You may want to discuss the meanings of the two Greek words for love used in this passage.)

After each question Jesus says to Peter "Feed my lambs", or "Feed my sheep."

Peter had a future for the Lord.


Even when we fail it does not mean that we are done being used in service by the Lord.

Perhaps it might not mean service in the same capacity, or ministry, or town, or on the same level.

However, there is still work to be done!


What now, Peter?


Peter was repentant and forgiven. Peter had a future. But Peter needed help. Jesus had promised the help that Peter needed. It was the help of the Holy Spirit. John 14:16-17, Acts 1:8

The help came at Pentecost. Acts 2:1-4

For us being filled with the Holy Spirit is a key ingredient for service. Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:16, Galatians 5:22


What now, Peter?


In Acts 2-3 Peter preaches two sermons and there are thousands of converts.

Peter ended up being a key leader in the early church.

This man who once denied his Lord wrote 1&2 Peter.

Our lives can also be fruitful for our Lord.


What now, Peter?


One day Peter would show his faithfulness to Christ. He would also be crucified.

As we read the story of Peter's ministry after Pentecost we find a man who was faithful to his Lord.

What more can we ask for ourselves? 1 Corinthians 4:2