“Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Dear Peter Bjorn,
I want to introduce you to two very special people — so special that we named you after them. The first is Simon Peter. He was one of Jesus’ original disciples — and one of the first Jesus called to be a full-time disciple of his.
Peter, along with James and John, made up Jesus’ inner circle. They had a special glimpse into the things of God, and among this inner circle, Peter often acted as leader and spokesperson. His name heads every list of the Twelve in the New Testament. Peter was passionately devoted to Jesus, and claimed that he would never deny him, and promised to fight to protect Jesus from any harm.
In fact, you might say that if Jesus had a best friend on earth, it was most likely Peter. After Jesus called him to leave his fishing business and devote his life to the ministry of the Kingdom, Peter seemed to never leave Jesus’ side. He was never more than a step behind, covered in the dust that Jesus’ sandals kicked up. Went Jesus was walking up a hill and stopped abruptly, Peter’s nose probably bumped into his butt. He vowed to follow Jesus anywhere.
Good disciples want to mimic and copy the every move of their rabbi, and Peter seemed to have taken this to an extreme level one time while out at sea. All the disciples were shocked and scared when they saw their rabbi Jesus walking on the water out at sea. But Peter must have thought, “If Jesus walks on the waves, then I want to do it too.” And so Peter gave it a shot. We all know how it ended. He didn’t take long to start doubting and sinking, but at least he was the only disciple willing to go that far in following Jesus.
Dear Peter Bjorn, as you grow up and choose your friends, there are many people who will lead you down the wrong path. The apostle Paul said that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Cor. 15:33). We hope you’ll surround yourself with friends who follow Jesus. Most of all, we pray you’ll follow the example of Simon Peter and make Jesus your best friend. We pray you following him in every thing you do and say. We hope you never leave his side — for we know Jesus will never leave yours. So, Peter Bjorn, who will your best friends be in the years to come?
Next time I’ll tell you about the other special person you’re named after: my best friend Peter.
This post and those to follow are inspired, in part, by Michael Card’s book “Peter: The Fragile Stone.” See video below: