One of the most used, misused and abused marketing campaign – BEFORE and AFTER.
We’ve seen enough of it most of us already knew which is the real BEFORE and AFTER.
Good news – we do have some real life BEFORE and AFTER series which we can learn from and reap real benefits.
Peter was a fisher men and he runs a family business
Walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers: Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. (Matthew 4:18)
So Jesus went out looking for potential disciples, and He found Peter.
Now if Jesus was going to start His New Testament church, why not pick a graduate of theology? Or get one of those doctors of the law?
Jesus at the age of 12 said “I must be about my Father’s business”. Chances were, Jesus was looking for people who have experience running family business and knew how to handle human relations in family business.
So Peter was in fact running a family business – fish for food business.
Religious scholars of his days were really doctors of the laws, but they were not too relational. In fact they were too secluded they never knew what it means to wash the disciple’s feet.
Scholars have the habits of using law to solve problem – Jesus exercise the love and truth of the Father to transform life.
Peter had a family to take care of
When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. (Matthew 8:14)
Jesus saw Peter was a good boy.
Peter work hard and he deserve a good diner. Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, and straightway she make diner. They got plenty of fish supplies, just needed a good chef to make sumptuous home cook food without MSG.
Peter appointed to apostleship
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these. The first, Simon, who is called Peter; Andrew, his brother; James the son of Zebedee; John, his brother; (Matthew 10:2)
Jesus begins to put Peter through various stages of transformations – the beginning of Peter’s BEFORE and AFTER series.
Jesus move Peter from being a fishermen to fisher of men. Instead of catching fish, now Peter had to deal with people beyond his family circles.
Difference between fish and people – people can complain and disagree, fish don’t talk back.
Peter had to learn how to deal with people. Apart from Andrew his brother, now Peter got to deal with two very loud friends nicknamed “sons of thunder”.
The most difficult to handle were those super educated class – they talk back every time Jesus preached. They had to be dumbfounded by miracles, but they asked for more signs and wonder.
These doctors of the laws have a way of confusing people’s sincerity with re-definitions like “who’s my neighbor?” Everyone else sitting next to that lawyer gave him that look without saying “what do you mean who’s your neighbor!”
Peter walks on water
He said, “Come!” Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus. (Matthew 14:29)
Peter learns to walk by faith and not by sight. When Peter looked and saw the waves he sank – he was supposed to look at Jesus not the waves. Peter learn there are things he could do by faith in Jesus.
Until today, Peter is still the only other man to walk on water with Jesus of the same time, space and sea.
Peter deserves a Guinness World Records.
Peter raise question when others pretended.
Peter answered him, “Explain the parable to us.” (Matthew 15:15)
Peter who was known to be uneducated, he learns Jesus’ way of education. Peter learns to understand parables while the religious scholars had great difficulties receiving what Jesus was talking about – or rather they were pretending not to know.
Peter understood whatever he could not understand he can always ask to Jesus without doing a Google search.
Sometimes Jesus said things like “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” and people thought if the Pharisees and Sadducees had opened a new bakery – P & S Oven, closed on Sabbath, Passover Bread guaranteed baked without yeast.
That’s all right; we can always learn the correct things from Jesus. Peter did, we can too.
Peter lost his patience with his brother
Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?” (Matthew 18:21)
Peter did not say it was Andrew’s fault but wasn’t too happy about it.
Jesus said “try forgiving 77 times” – Peter tried counting and before he could reach 77 times he forgot what happened. Peter got distracted by the “sons of thunder” – again.
Peter lost his counts but kept his love and patience. Peter learns how to win friends through forgiveness.
Peter asked for his pay check
Then Peter answered, “Behold, we have left everything, and followed you. What then will we have?” (Matthew 19:27)
Peter learn from Jesus – there are things more valuable than materials benefits. Don’t expect to be paid by human expectations and demand – life can be happier without the calculator.
Peter was progressing well in his BEFORE and AFTER series. Everything was provided for. Peter saw how Jesus multiplied fish and bread, and the disciple did not have to go find an ATM or break their piggy banks.
In fact Jesus was the original creator of instant food – not Nissin. Those fish and bread multiplied were definitely organic, free from preservatives and served without plastic wrappings.
Peter assured Jesus
Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you.” (Matthew 16:22)
Peter had come a long way in a short time.
By then Peter had faith and courage, he even learned to instruct his instructor. Peter was trying to show some gratitude and protect his good friend Jesus if anything bad should happen.
Peter’s BEFORE and AFTER series needed some modification – so Jesus gave a lecture. Peter was convinced he was no friend of the devil.
Peter remain faithful
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, (John 6:68)
By now Peter had a foretaste of eternity.
There was a mass exodus of listeners, people who came, eat of the bread and praised Jesus sky high left as soon as they came. Jesus taught something about eternity which was so hard and difficult, people rejected Him.
Peter was granted permission and good will to leave – but Peter chooses the ways of Jesus.
Peter caught his vision and destiny in Jesus. Peter knew his direction of life is to GO with Jesus.
Peter defend Jesus
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) (John 18:10)
Peter was ready to die for Jesus.
But this transformation needed another modification. This is a difference between man-made sword and the sword of the spirit.
Peter had to learn how to use the sword of the spirit to pierce the hearts of men – not use man-made sword to cut people’s ear if they don’t listen.
Jesus had to put back some one’s ear without stitches.
Peter after transformations
And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. (Acts 6:2)
so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:7)
By then Peter was a transformed personality.
Peter confessed and was convinced Jesus the word of God is of higher value than any material wealth and success he could have had. Peter was in a place and position where he could serve Jesus without fear and without worry.
Peter was transformed by Jesus.
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