After praying for guidance and wisdom, Jesus called twelve men out from the crowd of disciples to follow Him, learn from Him, and assist Him in the duties of His ministry. Peter was one of the twelve. By accepting Jesus’ invitation to join His apostles, Peter afforded himself a unique opportunity to learn through practical experience.
Rather than witnessing Jesus’ miracles and hearing His sermons from a distance, making general observations like everyone else did, the apostles worked alongside Jesus and gained a deeper understanding of what it meant to love others through service and sacrifice. Constantly reminded of their own limitations, they learned to depend on God’s strength and provision. Through it all, they found God faithful.
Because the apostles worked side by side with Jesus, they had access to information the crowd and the other disciples did not. Jesus explained His sermons to them, helped them apply His words to their own lives, and told them what was coming. These private briefings often took place before or after significant events and weren’t always pleasant, especially when the apostles had demonstrated a lack of faith or understanding. Whether they enjoyed these briefings or not, the apostles benefited from them and were wiser for having answered Jesus’ invitation to join the twelve.
What about you? Do you take advantage of opportunities to grow spiritually by serving others? Do you actively seek the guidance and wisdom of those who are more mature in their faith? Are you open to both encouragement and loving rebuke? Have you put yourself in a position to receive that encouragement and loving rebuke by meeting regularly with other men?