A man can travel so far in this life that, if he is contemplative, he has encountered many questions and received few answers. He arrives in despair at a place from which there is no returning. He is walled in. He’s in a blind alley! He will stand with a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, cast down in spirit by the knowledge that his yesterdays have been wasted and his tomorrows hold no promise. When he feels this despair, he will know where he is. He’s at the end of the trail!
It is at such a time that such a man is ready to meet Jesus. His arguments have all been brushed aside because he has seen all the things that will not work. He has met the so-called physicians that cannot heal even themselves. And, like a leper in the last stages, he desperately needs healing. Although this is a picture of us all, we speak of yet another man.
His name was Simon, although we know him better by the nick-name Christ gave him. The Hebrew word was Cephas and meant a stone. The same word in the Greek language was petros and so we best know him as Peter or, sometimes, Simon Peter. But however we think of him, Peter was the man at the end of the trail until a bright new vista opened. His brother, Andrew, found him with the good news, “We have found the Messiah!” John 1:35-42.
Later, when Christ came walking down the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Peter was ripe for the tap on the shoulder. When Christ said to him and his brother, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men” they left their fishing nets and followed Him. Matthew 4:18-22. In Matthew 10:1-4 Peter was given an honor for the ages when Christ appointed him to be an apostle.
Perhaps you wonder why he was willing to give up all to follow this penniless, itinerant Teacher. Come with me and view a scene that occurred in John 6:66-69. Christ has given the multitude of followers who had been inspired by the loaves and fishes an understanding of the deeper commitment required. This caused many to leave Him. When He turned to the disciples to ask, “Will you also leave?” Simon Peter had a ready answer: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”
To Whom indeed?