Did you realize that we know more about Peter’s life than we know about anyone else’s in the New Testament? Yes, that’s a hasty statement, and you could easily reply, “Umm, what about Jesus!?” The Gospels tell in detail the story of Jesus’ life, but they mostly focus on the three years of his public ministry with the occasional glimpse of his birth and early childhood.
Peter’s story throughout the NT spans decades, and we can see great maturity in him from when he first meets Jesus to when he writes 2 Peter just before his death. We can learn from his failures and his triumphs: calling, doubt, temptation, faithfulness, witness to the miraculous, and endurance are all wonderful lessons we see Peter experiencing and learning.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at just six stories from Peter’s life, but we’ve produced a very helpful booklet where all the NT’s stories involving Peter have been included by chronological order. This can give a very helpful biography of Peter’s life. We did not rewrite anything or add any commentary, we simply cut-and-pasted the very words of Scripture to make it a seamless story. Parents, your teen has received a copy of this booklet, entitled “My Name is Peter,” and we’ve encouraged each student to take extra time outside of Youth Group to read more about Peter’s life and faith. Take this opportunity to read the booklet with them and discuss Peter’s life and what we can learn from him.
As you read through the booklet, I want to encourage you to be asking these three questions (they’re good questions to always ask whenever you read the Bible!):
- What Happened? Simply pay attention to the story. Who is involved, what happened, why did it happen, and why do you think the author told the story that way? What happened before and after this particular story, and how might that influence this story you’re looking at? What details are given and why do you think they’re included?
- Why is This Important? Why do you think the author included this story – there are lots of stories that remain untold, why did the author think this one was worth sharing? What is the “big idea” the author wants us to “get” from this story?
- What Can I Learn From This? How does this “big idea” affirm or challenge what you would’ve done or said if you were in that story? How do you need to change or think differently to be in line with what Scripture is teaching here?