Peter - On this Rock

Gates of Hell

Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Commentators say:
Jesus was not talking about starting His church with just Peter,
Everyone knows you can't build a church with just one man
Rock and stone are not the same word
Therefore Jesus didn't mean Peter would start the church
But one commentator said:
Of course He meant Peter, He was speaking to Peter, Peter means rock, and there there is the following verse.

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the Eleven, lifted up his voice and said to them, Men, Jews, and all who dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words.

Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. And the same day there were added about three thousand souls.

I don't know which commentator is right, but if you do an outreach and 3,000 people get saved, you got yourself a church.

So what happened between Jesus saying "on this rock"

And...

This radical change in Peter - becoming a great leader:
We see Peter standing up
Peter speaks boldly to the crowd
3,000 people get saved

3 things happened in between these two events:
Jesus was crucified
The most important event in history
But not all disciples were radically changed
Not all the Apostles were changed (because we don't read about most of them ever again)
The Holy Spirit came
The power of the Holy Spirit is very important
But not all disciples were radically changed
Not all the Apostles were either
One other thing happened. Matthew 26:74

Mat 26:74 Then he began to curse and to swear, I do not know the man. And immediately the cock crowed.

Peter's Failure.

My personal belief is, it was the Combination of all three, including that failure that made Peter into the man, the leader he became.

Peter made a decision about his failure.
He came face to face with it and said "NO" that will not happen again.
He made a decision to "stand up" Like the Bible tells us he did.
He made a decision to not let that failure ever happen again.

What about us?

I believe there are some of us are here this semester because the Lord is giving us time to make a decision about our failures.

To say, that will not happen in my life again.

Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.

That fact changed Peter's life twice.

In: Mat 26:74 Then he began to curse and to swear, I do not know the man. And immediately the cock crowed.
Peter swore and lied because:
Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.

See, Peter knew:
that was why Jesus was about to be crucified.
And Peter did not want to be killed with him.
Peter was scared, so he lied.
And Peter's life was changed.

2nd biggest failure of any of the apostles. Only Judas failed bigger

Contrast his response that time to: Act 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God made this same Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. Again, this time, Peter knows Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. It's the same fact but Peter has a different response this time. Last time he lied and swore to try to save his own life,

In Acts 2:36 he stands up in front of a very large crowd and not only does he state that Jesus is the Messiah but he also says this crowd he is talking to crucified Jesus. This could have got him killed right there. Or could have got him led away to be crucified also.

They are the same facts, but they lead to two very different responses.

Why does he "run away light a frightened school girl" the first time, but then boldly state the fact later, when he didn't even have to?
He did not have to address the crowd
If he was going to talk to them he didn't have to mention Jesus
He didn't have to say Jesus was the Messiah
He didn't have to say that these people had Him crucified.

Why the change?

I told you the three reasons I think for the change.
Peter believed in Jesus, had the power of the Holy Spirit and he had failed in a huge way.
I believe Peter's failure had a huge impact on him.
I have lived along time - I have had lots of big failures.
Many of which I made a decision about, with God's help, they will not happen again in my life.

Many of you have made big mistakes like I have.

I don't know your secrets: abortion, sexual molestations, drug/alcohol addictions, failed to maintain your purity.

But this I do know:
God wants to use,
your failure,
for your good.
Right now.

Take the time to face your failures.
You know Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit.
Make a decision about what you are going to do about them.

Like the great theologian Van Morrison said it is time to get some healing done.

Matthew 26:74,75

Mat 26:74 Then he began to curse and to swear, I do not know the man. And immediately the cock crowed. Mat 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, Who said to him, Before the cock crows, you shall deny Me three times. And he went out and wept bitterly.

Peter's Failure
After his failure, Peter went out.
Meaning, at his point of failure he went out alone.
Not to the other apostles or disciples, he faced it alone.

Where do you go?
Do not face it alone.
To your Christian friends?
They can pray for you
Grieve with you
What you need to talk about? Share with friends you trust
You need to do this -
But your friends have limited perspective

If the Lord has brought you here to heal,
to face your failure
You are in luck.
There are many people at a church near you that can help. Go talk to one of them They can pray and grieve with you, also...
In addition:
They can offer good counsel (from experience)
They have probably dealt with what you are dealing with
They will not be shocked at whatever you failed at
The older a person get's the less shocked they become by failure:
They have seen more
Like an uncle, mother or grandfather
I doubt there is any failure you could possibly have that would shock them. You could not have a failure that seems like a really big deal to them. At our age we have seen too many mistakes, too many failures to be shocked. As you are going through the process of facing your failures, talk to someone at church. Allow God to guide you to the right person to talk to.

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Our greatest desire is...
for people to come to know God personally. The simple truth is that there is a God who created you and loves you very much. (Genesis 1:1) He gave us life and deserves our gratitude and love.

Passion
Simon the Zealot was passionate about his politics. People with passion have enthusiasm and energy. They have purpose and direction. They think they know what should be done, And usually we don't. They are easy to follow. That type of passion and direction makes a good leader. Read more here...
Journey
The Bible tells us Jesus was born to a virgin. Luke tells us also. We know it's true. We have no debate about that. It isn't hard for us to Peter-on-this-rock. (Personally, for me, compared to everything else Jesus has done for me, it isn't hard for me to Peter-on-this-rock His momma was a virgin). Read more here...
Failure
Many years ago a wise man said he realized he couldn't make a mistake. He said he does lots of things wrong, lots of things he shouldn't, lots of things he is sorry for, but he found this verse: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, Read more here...