Updated: 2 days ago
This article will examine Peter as a model for leadership, based on his words, actions and interactions between Yeshua and later the First and Second Epistles General of Peter. We will look at the turning point of his being a crude, self assertive, inconsistent and impulsive fisherman to becoming a shepherd to God's Sheep after Yeshua gave him a vision of what he would be to the church; to his development as a committed leader in the Book of Acts, to the emergence of Peter's co-leadership in his Epistles of First and Second Peter where he exhibits mature leadership characteristics, humility and a glorious God given anointing of a Holy Ghost transformation. This author will attempt to show Peter's growth through his becoming a “Fisher of Men” to his days as a strong Servant of God, leading Christ's Church.
PETER A MODEL FOR LEADERSHIP
Peter was a great example of a disciple who caught the vision of working the works of God. After cowering from discovery during Yeshua's period of suffering, Peter emerged with renewed conviction. The first time he spoke publicly after the resurrection of Yeshua, he spoke with the infusion of the Holy Ghost, charisma and conviction. Through this he witnessed amazing results. Three thousand people were saved in one service. “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:"(1) “...Then they that gladly received his word were baptized and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”(2 ) This was just the beginning. At another time, about five thousand men were saved(3) and we don't know how many women and children.
These wonderful results were not accomplished by preaching alone. Peter had the keys. He was one of the first ministers to grasp the keys of effective evangelism as exemplified by Yeshua Himself. The turning point for Peter's leadership changed at the breakfast with Yeshua by the Sea of Tiberius.
Peter was an impulsive, ambitious, self assertive and quickly committed himself without fully understanding the meaning of Yeshua's words or deeds. Yet, he was challenged when it came to committing himself during Yeshua's period of suffering.
...“And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself.
They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I
am not. One of the servants of the high priest
being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith,
Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter
then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.”(4)
However, Peter was indeed transformed into a fully committed leader for Yeshua by the time we read John 21, in the Bible. Here, Peter puts on his fisherman coat then jumps in the water after being informed that Yeshua was on shore by the sea calling to them. He shares breakfast made of fish and bread with his teacher. He is then challenged by Yeshua, after having denied Him.
Reflecting on Peter's denial, Yeshua asks Peter to respond three times to the question , “Do you love me?” Each time Peter answers, Yeshua commands Peter to care for His followers. In John 21:15, “Feed my lambs.” John 21:16, “Feed my sheep.” again, “Feed my sheep.” in John 21:17, and finally in John 21:19, “Follow me.”(5)
This was a commitment to the work of shepherding and walking in Yeshua's footsteps. This meant that Peter had to lead the masses and walk closely with Yeshua. During these times, it was a dangerous undertaking to take up the “works of Yeshua” preaching in public, converting followers, and healing the sick. Peter had to challenge the religious and social norms of the time. Yet, Peter took up the works and followed inYeshua's footsteps. We began to see Peter's transformation and commitment. He was focused on bringing Christ's message to transform the world. He was intent on feeding God's sheep.
BECOMING A LEADER
Peter and the other apostles were affected by their own upbringing and religious beliefs that made it harder for them to accept a none Jewish believer. However, God introduced Peter to a new paradigm through a dream.
“On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew
nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the house top to
pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry,
and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell
into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain
vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet
knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth; Wherein
were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild
beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there
came a voice to him, Rise, Peter, kill, and eat. But Peter said,
Not so, Lord: for I have never eaten any thing that is common
or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second
time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again