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Peter’s Story



This week, Pastor Joby Martin joined us from The Church of Eleven22. He takes a look at Peter’s story in the book of John and shares how Jesus’ resurrection transformed Peter’s life and is still transforming lives today. God uses our tests, trials, and even terrible decisions, and turns them into a testimony for His glory.

Have you ever felt like you should be further along in your faith walk? Do you ever find yourself being inconsistent between what you say and what you do? You would make a great apostle.

If the tomb is empty...anything is possible including the power of resurrections in your life right now.

In Matthew 4:18-20, Peter meets Jesus and immediately leaves everything to follow Him.

In Jewish Culture, the dream of every parent was to have their son become a rabbi. If the son couldn't make it through all the training, he would take on the trade of his father. This is who Jesus chooses, not the best and brightest, but the ones He sees more in than we do.

Peter was a man of incredible highs and lows, belief and doubt. He walked on water when Jesus told Him to, but right in the middle of that moment, He doubted and in overcome by the circumstance around him.

Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus changes His name to "rock", gives him the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and promises that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. Yet, as soon as Jesus tells of His coming death, Peter rebukes Him! In reply, Jesus calls him Satan and tells Peter to get behind him.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter sees the glorified Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Peter says something completely unnecessary and God puts him on his face.

Jesus washes the feet of the disciples and Peter refuses. He can't imagine Jesus serving him in that way. However, when Jesus explains that if He doesn't wash his feet, then he can't have anything to do with Him. So, in typical Peter fashion, he asks Jesus to give him a bath.

When Jesus says that one of his own will betray Him, Peter emphatically denies that he could ever do such a thing. Jesus lets him know that Peter will deny him three times.

Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to pray with him in one of His hardest moments. They can't stay awake. When Jesus wakes them up, Judas is there to betray Him and Jesus is arrested. Peter is so impulsive that he cuts off the ear of one of the soldiers and Jesus puts it back on.

In John 18:15-27, Peter stood outside when Jesus entered the high priest. Soon, Peter was brought in, and one of the servant girls asked him if he was a disciple of Jesus; Peter denied it. Then, a group warmed themselves with a charcoal fire. They accused Peter of being with Jesus, and again, Peter denied knowing Him. A third time, Peter denied being in the garden with Jesus. Then the rooster crowed, and he locked eyes with Jesus. Peter realized that he lied, he failed, and he wailed.

Three days later, Jesus rose, and the angels said to the women, "Go and tell the disciples AND PETER." Why? Because Peter thought he was done. He had done the worst of the worst by denying Jesus.

John 21:1-19. When Peter said he was going fishing, he was returning to his former lifestyle. We have a propensity to run from God and not toward Him when we sin.

The past doesn't define you. The enemy wants to keep pushing condemnation on you. The enemy wants you to think that you're defined by your scars. The reality is you are defined by scars, just not yours. You're defined by the scars of Jesus Christ.

To condemn means to call something unfit for use. Romans 8:1 says that there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. If you were an old, falling-apart building condemned by the authorities, Jesus would say that He is paying full price for you and is in the process of restoring you to use and glory.

Jesus was our propitiation. A propitiation is a payment that satisfies. Jesus did this. God cannot be dissatisfied with you if you are in Christ Jesus. we were bought at a price. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Peter and the others caught nothing while they were out fishing, but then Jesus told them to cast again, and they had a massive catch. This was familiar to them based on how they met Jesus. Peter realizes that Jesus is on the shore and leaps from the boat to get to Him. When they reach Jesus, He has fish ready for them on a charcoal fire. The last time we saw a charcoal fire was when Peter denied Jesus, but Jesus was resetting the scene for him because the last time we saw Peter fishing and Jesus on the shore was when they met, and Peter's whole life changed. Jesus is showing him that there is no sin that you can do that can outrun the grace of God.

Jesus asks Peter, "Do you love me more than these?" Jesus may have been asking if Peter love Him more than the boats, fish, and life he went back to. Where we would have punished or fired someone, Jesus places them in leadership. Again Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. He tells Peter to care for what matters most: the people, the image bearers of God. Finally, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. Jesus is not condemning Peter; He's convicting him. Don't ever stiff-arm the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It's a warm invitation toward healing. Jesus is telling Peter that He's not done with Him.

Jesus goes on to tell Peter that he will die for His name. Peter would eventually be arrested and placed on trial. All he would have had to do to get out of it was deny Jesus...just like he had done before. Peter decided that he would rather have a shorter life with a gruesome death than a long life with riches only from this world. Peter did not count himself worthy of being crucified in the same manner as his Savior, so he was crucified upside down.

Jesus tells Peter the two words that started everything, "Follow me." This is a Holy Do-Over.

We don't need a second chance with God; we need a substitute. We need someone to do what we cannot.

Days later, Peter stands up and proclaims the Gospel. The only thing that happened between his denial and his declaration was a breakfast with the risen Savior.


"The enemy wants you to think that you're defined by your scars. The reality is you are defined by scars, just not yours. You're defined by the scars of Jesus Christ."

Joby Martin

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Scripture References

  • John 21:1-19
  • Romans 8:1
Joby Martin Founder and Lead Pastor of the Church of Eleven22 in Jacksonville, FL