Peter’s story of faith began when Jesus said, “Follow Me.” (Matt. 4:18) Peter and his brother Andrew—two fishermen from Galilee—left their nets and followed Jesus. As one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, Peter witnessed firsthand Jesus’ miracles and teachings. He saw Jesus heal his mother-in-law (Matt. 8:14) and raise a little girl from the dead (Luke 8:49-55). He saw Jesus walk on water, and Peter walked on water too. (Matt. 14:25-29)
Peter believed that Jesus is the Messiah (Matt. 16:16), and he was understandably upset when Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him (Matt. 26:34-35). Peter fell asleep as Jesus prayed in the garden, and he drew his sword to defend Jesus when He was arrested. (Matt. 26:40; John 18:10) Peter denied Jesus three times, but after the resurrection Jesus appeared to Peter and the other disciples. Then Jesus restored Peter to ministry at the sea of Galilee. (John 21:15-19)
The first 12 chapters in the Book of Acts record the Holy Spirit’s work through Peter after Pentecost. God revealed to Peter that the gospel is for everyone—Jews and Gentiles. Peter was arrested and imprisoned for sharing the gospel, but an angel of the Lord rescued him. (Acts 12:1-8)
When Peter wrote his second letter, he was in prison again. Peter was aware that death was imminent. (2 Pet. 1:13-15) Like Jude, Peter warned against false teachers. Soon after his letter was written, Peter was killed in Rome as Jesus had predicted. (John 21:18-19)
Some people thought the believers were foolish for thinking Jesus is coming again. Peter explained that God is patient, and He wants everyone to trust in Jesus. At just the right time, Jesus will come again, and we look forward to the day when He creates the new heavens and a new earth.
As you talk about this Bible story with your kids, remind them that Peter’s letter was written nearly two thousand years ago to believers who were not far removed from Jesus’ life on earth. Today, we still wait eagerly for Jesus’ return, and God calls us to use our time on earth as an opportunity to better know and love Him, and to tell others about Him.