And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

The apostle Peter tops my list of outstanding Bible characters. God transformed this ordinary fisherman into a dynamic leader of the early church. Peter's folly and humanness make him a saint that's relatable to us; therefore, we can learn from his life.

Peter was a man of contradictions. He was impulsive and strong willed, yet capable of great love and loyalty. He left everything he had to follow Jesus. When something needed to be said, he said it but was quick to blurt out words before thinking. A man of faith, he was both courageous and fearful. Once, he got out of a boat and walked on water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink. He cried out for help, and Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. Christ rebuked him gently for doubting. Peter was the first disciple to confess Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:16) But in an hour of crisis, after Jesus' arrest, Peter fled and denied knowing Him three times. After realizing his failure, Peter wept bitterly.

Peter's story does not end in failure. Jesus loved him, forgave him, and restored him. On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached boldly, and three thousand people were converted. The simple fisherman became a mighty fisher of men. Persecution followed, but Peter rejoiced that he was counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake.

Heavenly Father, transform our lives to be more and more like Jesus. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Susan Ferguson is a freelance writer who lives in Madison, Mississippi with her husband. She is an accountant by profession and works during the day and writes at night. She is a member of Faithwriters and participates in their daily devotional. She likes to read, travel, and cook for family and friends.