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Stewards: Peter- a good steward

By Charlie Osewalt | 16 May 2013

 Stewardship Stewards series- Peter

Peter, a good steward


Simon Peter is a worshipper.

He serves what he worships. And he also stewards and manages what he serves. What does Simon Peter steward? And how and why is his stewardship good?

These two questions have together one immediate solution: Before his campfire meal with Jesus, (John 21) Simon Peter served men. He was a people pleaser par excellence. A well-liked leader, a ruler of a team of fishing boats, people depended on him and he was totally dependable. He worshipped being liked and respected. And he was. Peter pleased his god ─ men’s approval ─ and was well-rewarded.

But Peter begins to change after he first encounters Jesus (Luke 5). It is the morning after a poor night of work. Peter's two boats and crews have laboured and caught nothing. Jesus enters Pete’s boat and requests that they move out a little from the shore. Peter listens. After teaching, Jesus asks Peter to fish again. Simon Peter's revealing response:

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break…both boats so full that they began to sink.

A miracle: where there was nothing, now there is everything.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”

Peter falls to his knees, but he is not worshipping. He is caught in fear. Jesus is no longer a “master”, one of many good masters and teachers. Jesus is “Lord”. Peter is deeply attracted to Jesus, yet he is also repelled. He needs Jesus to “go away.” But Jesus stays.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”  So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Jesus’ first command to Peter is to banish Peter’s fear. Peter then leaves everything behind: his fear, his boats, worship of man’s approval. Change begins because Peter’s object of worship is different: Jesus.

Peter is drawn in by a perfect love that removes, casts out fear. Peter, now a good steward, follows.


Want to go deeper? You can download the PDF below for more:

Posted by Charlie Osewalt

Charles Osewalt is a husband, father of four children and former elder at Redeemer Church NYC. He has worked in schools for the last twenty years as principal in the Morrisanna section of the Bronx. He formerly worked as a content and curriculum specialist for Stewardship. He tweets at @charlesosewalt


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