January 4, 2015
Lesson Goal: To know the twelve men Jesus called as apostles, with our main focus being Simon Peter.
If you were asked to name the twelve apostles, how many names could you recall? How much do you know about the ones you can recall? What details of their lives do you know? Each of these men has his own unique story. Each of them comes to the pages of Scripture with a wonderfully original testimony of life.
Sometimes we think of these twelve men as super-spiritual dynamos. But when we open the Scriptures to study their lives, we may be shocked. For we find them to be just ordinary men like ourselves. They were not super men; they were common plain men. It may be even more amazing to us that these guys had their own hurts, hang-ups and habits.
Can you prayerfully list and discuss some of the twelve apostles’ hurts, hang-ups, and habits?
These men were very much like us. They fought many of the same battles that we fight. Each of their lives was a work in progress. They did not arrive quickly or easily at Christian maturity. They each had their own background prejudices, battles, temptations and struggles. They lived in a real and hostile world, just like the one we live in today.
May God give us wisdom and insight, as we look at the lives of the original twelve. Let us remember that God does not look at the outward appearance, abilities, or education as His qualifying criteria of those He calls to serve Him. He calls and is willing to change any heart that is willing to be changed (important fact).
As we learn of these twelve men, please review the list of apostles as they appear in Scripture (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16 and Acts 1:13). In each list, Simon Peter’s name appears first.
Mark 3:16 says, “Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter.”
Simon – Cephas
Peter – Petros (rock)
⇒ Why do you think Simon Peter’s name is first in the lists of apostles?
⇒ What are some things you remember from Peter’s life and testimony?
Simon Peter was a fisherman in a fishing business with his brother Andrew. His life and livelihood evolved around fishing. Peter would have looked like, sounded like, smelled like, and acted like a fisherman of his day.
For some facts concerning Simon Peter and his life, please read the
following Scripture passages.
• Matthew 8:14; fact
• Matthew 16:13-16; fact
• Matthew 26:47-51 & John 17:10; fact
• Matthew 14:25-33; fact
• John 13:5-9; fact
• Matthew 26:69-75; fact
• Luke 8:45; fact
• Matthew 15:7-15; fact
• Matthew 19:27; fact
• Acts 2:14; fact
• Acts 4:13; fact
• Acts 10:25-35; fact
• 1 Peter 1:1; fact
• 2 Peter 1:1; fact
In Acts 4:13, the testimony spoken by others concerning Peter and John is: “And they realized that they [Peter and John] had been with Jesus.”
⇒ In your own words, explain what it means to the follower of Jesus to have such a testimony that other people take note: “that they had been with Jesus.”
⇒ Has Jesus made such a change in your life that people can identify you as having been with Him?
⇒ Please briefly give explanation of someone in your life who you identify as having been with Jesus.
⇒ Explain this common, practical statement: Simon Peter had his highs and he had his lows.
⇒ How can you personally identify with Simon Peter?
For about three years, Jesus the Master chiseled away at Simon. As the years passed, Simon became more and more Peter.
⇒ How did Peter’s reactionist emotions often get the best of him (sometimes bad, sometimes good)?
⇒ Please explain this statement and then relate it to your own personal life: “Peter was a true reactionist, often impulsive and swift to action.”
⇒ Please complete this statement:
I can learn from Peter…
If you stood alongside Peter today and had the opportunity to ask him any question, what would you ask? Please give much thought and prayer for godly wisdom concerning your question.