Discipleship of Peter and John
Two names that you undoubtedly recognize from scripture are the disciples Peter and John. You may remember the story; Jesus spotted them on the lake, called them out, and prophetically declared, “You will become fishers of men.” Jesus knew how important it was for His disciples to be trained in ministry as He had just emerged from His 18 year discipleship program. 3 1/2 years with these men was all this God/Man would need to impart the training and experience they required to carry on His ministry. After Peter and John experienced the manifestations of dramatic healings and deliverances by Christ, along with the other 10 disciples, they were no longer called ‘disciples’ but ‘apostles’.
One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. (Luke 6:12, 13a NLT)
You may ask, “why is that important?” Here’s why; a disciple is a learner, someone who is instructed in the teachings of another and chooses to follow those teachings. An apostle is someone who is sent on a mission and given their delegated power and authority. Jesus listened, watched, and decided when the time was right to send out his protégées and determine if they were able to carry on His mission on earth. This mission would be to bring heaven down to earth using His divine authority to minister to people. After the discipleship program was completed these two disciples, especially Peter, were put into the forefront of that ministry. They both traveled locally as itinerant ministers teaching, preaching, healing, and delivering people in the Name of Jesus. I doubt if they would have felt confident; Peter had just experienced denying Christ three times and John’s brother James had been executed by the Romans for his faith. Nevertheless, in the midst of fear, they were sent out with an assignment from God and in His eyes were equipped.
It is historically documented that Peter was crucified in Rome, inverted on a cross for his faith. John, on the other hand, lived the longest of the apostles and became known as John the Elder. He was considered a pillar of faith and wisdom as he had come out of exile from a deserted island and wrote the Book of Revelation. These are two unique ministries but nonetheless important for us to understand. Our calling is to follow Christ in whatever specific ways He chooses for us; we only have to be obedient to that call. I challenge you this week to ask God about your discipleship training/calling to evaluate where you are. Do you need a mentor, some accountability, a course correction, or simply just encouragement to carry on? He promises to answer if you’ll ask.