Scholars and the pen of inspiration suggest that what Jesus did after restoring Peter was put His arm around him and take him privately for a walk on the beach. Then in astonishment Peter listens as Jesus reveals how he will fulfill his purpose. The second insight we discover here is that
Following the Ways of Christ Reveals Your Purpose
When Jesus called Peter to “Follow Him”, He essentially was telling him that the primary purpose of his life was to be like Him and to do what He did.
There was a time, way back in the day, that if you wanted to know what you were going to do in life, you would go and find a mentor and you would become his or her apprentice. And what you simply did was observe what they did and then do it. You didn’t necessarily go to a school or any institution. You simply just followed the ways of your master. This is what you did if you wanted to be a blacksmith, carpenter, farmer or fisherman. And often the one who would teach you would be your own father or mother. Therefore, as you grew up, you pretty much knew who you were and what you would do before you became and adult. You essentially continued the family business. This is what Jesus earthly father did with him and its what Peter’s father did with him. You simply did whatever they did. You followed their example. For some of you following your parent’s example may be a very good thing. Yet for some of you they may not have been the best example. Some of you may be trying to follow the ways of Jay-Z, Beyoncé or Obama. Jesus says stop trying to be like them and follow Me.
What Jesus shared with Peter reveals two things about our purpose.
1st - Jesus showed Peter that when he gets old he would glorify God in his death. History tells us that Peter was brought by Roman soldiers to be crucified on a cross, just like Jesus. At that moment he requested to be hung upside down, because he didn’t feel worthy to suffer and die in the same manner as his Lord. Here we learn a powerful lesson that we don’t often hear in Christian circles today, and that is that the call to become a follower of Jesus Christ is a call to come and die. Yes, Jesus offers you love, joy, peace and purpose, but he also calls you to die to yourself. Die to your selfish desires. Die to your lusts and pride. Die to the flesh and maybe even like Peter you may actually die. Either way, He then calls you to come alive in Him to the newness of life! This is what Jesus was saying in Luke 9:23-24, “ Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
2nd – Jesus called Peter to “Follow Him.” I love how Aunty Ellen puts it in her Christian classic, The Desire of Ages, when she says, “To Peter the words "Follow Me" were full of instruction. Not only for his death, but for every step of his life, was the lesson given. Hitherto Peter had been inclined to act independently. He had tried to plan for the work of God, instead of waiting to follow out God's plan. But he could gain nothing by rushing on before the Lord. Jesus bids him, "Follow Me." Do not run ahead of Me. Then you will not have the hosts of Satan to meet alone. Let Me go before you, and you will not be overcome by the enemy.” This was the second time that he called Peter. As a matter of fact, Jesus was intentionally trying to bring back to Peters memory the miracle of the large catch of fish the first time He called him, when performed this very same miracle just moments before that morning. In reference to the first time Jesus did this, Luke records Peter’s response in Luke 5:8-10, “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” It was then that Jesus called Peter to follow Him. Did you catch what Jesus purpose for Peter was in the text? He was calling Peter from being a fisherman to doing what He did, fish for men’s souls. Jesus, Himself said that He came to “seek and to save that which was lost.” He did this by sharing the incredible love of God and then dying on the cross for us. Then before He left this earth, He didn’t leave us to guess what our purpose is. He told us, under His divine authority, in Matthew 28:18-20, to preach the Gospel to everyone, baptize them and make disciples.
This is your purpose. Listen carefully. What Jesus is saying to you today is that, in the context of your gifts, skills and abilities, and from your own personal experience with Him, share the Good News about Jesus with your friends. Observe how Jesus did it in Scripture and then do it! Follow the ways of the Master and share Him in your neighborhoods, schools and workplaces.
Yet there is still one more thing that Peter had to learn from Jesus about rediscovering his purpose in verse 20...
"CJ" CLAYPOLE S. COUSINS JR., IS SIMPLY A MAN WHO IS IN LOVE WITH JESUS. HIS PASSION IS TO LIVE, PREACH AND TEACH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. IN ADDITION TO PREACHING & TEACHING, CJ ALSO LOVES TO SING AND WRITE ABOUT JESUS.