29 April 2009

Leadership – 4.29.09

John 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

This third appearance of Jesus Christ to His disciples following His resurrection (v. 14) took place on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (v. 1). After a long and unsuccessful night of fishing, Jesus had them cast their nets on the right side of the ship (v. 6). When this last effort yielded a great catch, they realized it was Jesus (v. 7). Peter put his shirt and jumped into the water, and the others dragged 153 fish to the shore (v. 11) where Jesus has supper waiting (vv. 9, 12). He instructed Peter to feed His sheep (vv. 15-17) and follow Him (v. 19) regardless of what anyone else does (v. 22).

Now focusing on verse 3, we note that Peter was a leader among Christ's apostles. In fact, whenever the names are listed, Peter's is always first. Peter always seemed to be first to open his mouth (often inserting his foot) or to take action in a situation. That was just Peter.

But one day Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee and saw Peter and Andrew casting their nets. He called out to the two brothers, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). And Peter's life was never the same. Yeah, he made some mistakes. Yeah, he said some really stupid things. Yes, he denied the Lord. But as you read the history of the foundation of God's church in Acts 1-12 there's one of Christ's apostles who stands out as a leader. It's Peter.

He preaches on the Day of Pentecost, and 3,000 believe (Acts 2). He heals a lame man and preaches Jesus before the Beautiful gate of the temple, and 5,000 more believe (Acts 3-4). The Jewish leaders didn't like it, so Peter was arrested and brought before the council, where he boldly proclaims Jesus Christ as the only saving name (4:12) and refuses to bow to their threats (4:19). He's put in prison again but follows an angel out the prison doors and into the temple to teach the assembled crowds, deeming it better to obey God than men (5). He gives his blessing on the revival in Samaria (8) then goes down to Joppa to raise Lydda from the dead (9). He takes the gospel to the house of Cornelius – a Gentile! – and explains to the leaders in Jerusalem that God had granted the Gentiles repentance unto life (10-11). He's put in prison again, this time awaiting execution as soon as HEROD got finished celebrating Easter, but an angel wakes him up and leads him to the house where the church is interceding for him (12).

Here's the point. Peter answered Jesus' call to go fishing for men, to cast out the net of the gospel message and bring men and women to Christ. And God blessed. And when he stepped out in boldness and obedience, many said, We also go with thee.

Young person, God is looking for some LEADERS who will step out and boldly proclaim Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world, regardless of what everyone else is doing, and regardless of the consequences. Will you be a leader that others can follow? Will you purpose in your heart to follow the Lord and fish for men? Chances are if you step out, eventually someone is going to follow.

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


  1. Preacher Brown:

    Very good summary write-up about Simon Peter. He had a boldness that had to be fueled by the Holy Spirit, else he was down in the spiritual dumps so to speak.

    What I find interesting about Peter is the two epistles that he got to pen. Peter was quite the writer. Most sermons only pick a few one liners out of Peter's epistles, yet he's got some really cool stuff in there. Peter's scriptures could use some more air time!

    -Captain America (Ken)

  2. Bro. James is currently preaching through the book of 2 Peter. You can follow the sermon series here: http://jamesknox.com/sermons/2peter/2peter.shtml