Peter & Paul

What happens when you meet Jesus? Peter & Paul

John 21:1-19              Acts 9:1-20                            April 14, 2013

What happens when you meet Jesus? You get stretched.  When you either think life is going to keep you down or you are on top of your game, meeting Jesus will stretch you.  Having met Jesus, we see that our world is actually larger than we thought.  Our perspective gets stretched.  When life seems to keep us down, meeting Jesus helps us see that our God has much more in store for us than we thought.  So our vision gets expanded, stretched.  Peter’s perspective and vision were stretched by Jesus when Peter met Jesus on the beach.

 

When we think that we are on top of our game, meeting Jesus lets us see that there is a different side to life.   Our perspective, again, is stretched.  More than that happens as we realize all the people around us are affected by our meeting Jesus.  That is our world is stretched.  The men travelling with Saul, Ananias, and even the followers of the Way were stretched when the Lord met Saul on the road to Damascus.  We get stretched when more people meet Jesus.  We find that Jesus meets all kinds of people.  When Jesus meets all kinds of people, then our perspective and vision of the kingdom of God expands.

 

  1. Peter (John 21:1-19)
    1. He denied Jesus 3x (John 18:15-27)
    2. He went fishing with his buddies
      1. Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee (James & John), two other disciples
      2. They caught nothing
    3. Jesus was on the seashore
      1. “Have you no fish?” – Jesus
      2. “Cast the net on the right side of the boat.”
      3. 153 fish in the net! – some say that is the number of known nations in the world at that time
      4. Jesus prepared breakfast for the disciples
      5. The disciples knew who Jesus was
    4. Jesus questions Peter
      1. Three times he asked Peter if he loved Jesus more than these
      2. Three times Peter responded that he did
      3. On the 3rd response, Jesus tells him that he gets older, others will direct him
      4. Follow me – the Risen Jesus says this
    5. What happens when we meet Jesus? For Peter, not only was his net stretched, but so was Peter.  The one who denied Jesus three times was now told to follow Jesus.  We can say that Jesus was stretched as well, for he forgave Peter and told him to follow, again.  And Jesus continues to tell his disciples today to follow him.  We get to love as much as Peter loved.  That just might stretch us.

 

  1. Saul, whose name was changed to Paul (Acts 9:1-20)
    1. He was persecuting the church
      1. He approved of the stoning of Stephen (8:1)
      2. He had men & women committed to prison (8:3)
      3. Even wanted to murder the disciples of the Lord (9:1)
    2. He was hunting more followers of the Way
      1. The High Priest gave him an endorsement to bind followers of the Way back to Jerusalem
      2. Followers of the Way – early believers were called
      3. The Way – Jesus said – “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
    3. Jesus met him (and others) on the way
      1. The Lord appeared to Saul

–          Flash of light

–          Jesus spoke to Saul – go to Damascus & you will be told what to do

  1. This is not just about Saul’s conversion
  2. The men with him helped him to get to Damascus, for Saul could not see
  3. Ananias had to go to Saul
    1. Ananias gets stretched as well
    2. Ananias had heard about Saul’s work – he did evil to the disciples in Jerusalem
    3. Go to him anyway – he will tell about me to Gentiles, kings, & Israel
    4. Saul would suffer for the Name of Jesus
    5. Calls Saul, “Brother” – a term used for people who follow Jesus
    6. Saul could now see, then he was baptized
    7. Saul would even proclaim to the Jews that “Jesus is the Son of God.” – the followers of the Way in Damascus would be stretched to include Saul
    8. What happens when we meet Jesus? We get stretched.  Our friends will know something has happened to us when we meet Jesus.  Dare we say that they may even believe when they know we have met Jesus?  It has happened before, and it may happen again.  Saul was stretched, because no longer was he persecuting the followers of the Way, he joined them!  Other disciples and believers will be stretched when they see you as a follower of Jesus.  The church in Damascus was stretched when they heard Saul preach about Jesus being the Son of God, the Messiah.

 

What happens when we meet Jesus?  We get stretched.  Has your vision and perspective been stretched by meeting Jesus?  Have the people around you been stretched by you meeting Jesus?

Our perspective gets stretched when we hear that Jesus wants us to follow him and to love him more than these.  “These” can be the rules we follow, the people we hang around, or even our birth family!  Peter would go on following Jesus, even to the point of dying upside down on a cross.

 

Our loyalty gets stretched.  No longer will we want to harm Jesus’ followers.  But we will be among them!  Jesus’ disciples, his followers, will get stretched as well.  Saul, or Paul as we know him, would even say that there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female before the Lord.  He got stretched enough to know that Jesus can have people from all areas of life to follow him. 

 

Are you being stretched by Jesus?  I hope you are being stretched by Jesus.  He won’t leave you the way you are.  You will love more than you ever thought you could.  You will include people in the church that you never thought would be followers of Jesus. 

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