Prideful People Into Humble Servants

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:1

Look at the Apostle Peter

In Luke 5:1-11, we see that one day while prideful, sarcastic Peter was out fishing and making a living for his family, he was called by Jesus to be an apostle. He had been fishing all day and night, and had caught nothing. And unlike me, who never catches anything every single time I fish because of my inexperience, Peter is a professional fisherman and is still not catching anything on this day. So, Jesus was in Peter’s boat because he was using it as a preaching spot to teach the crowds gathered on the shore. After teaching he tells Peter, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  Think about it. Jesus walks into Peter’s office and starts telling him how to do his job! You can imagine the pride that would have swelled up in Peter. You can feel it swelling up in your heart right now, because you know the feeling. Peter sarcastically agrees, “at your word I will let down my nets.” He thinks he is calling Jesus’ bluff to prove him wrong. Instead, a miracle happens. He catches so many fish that the nets are breaking and the boat is sinking.

In that moment, Peter becomes undone. He was terrified because he knew that he was before the presence of the Yahweh Incarnate. His sinfulness was exposed. His pride was humbled. And falling to his knees, he worships the King.[1] He says, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Jesus, in his grace, calls him to leave his fishing profession to live as one sent out with the gospel.

Peter would become an eyewitness to the ministry and sufferings of Jesus. He was the outgoing, risk-taking, speaks-before-he-thinks, fearless disciple. Furthermore, when the church is spreading and the apostles are telling the Jewish leaders about Christ, Luke writes that “when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and saw that they were common, uneducated (ordinary) men, they were astonished for they recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

Humbled by the Gospel

The gospel of Christ turned a prideful man into a humble apostle. The same gospel that called Peter out of darkness into marvelous light is the same gospel that Peter lived his life to proclaim (2:9-10)!

We are, by nature, prideful people. We wake up each morning ready to serve ourselves. We have a bent to be a know-it-all.  We love the sound of our own voice on social media. We do not ask for help from others because “we can do it. “ We like to tell people how busy we are. We enjoy the pity party we get when we are suffering. We think we are the most important person on the road when we are driving.

We have a pride problem because we have a sin problem. Jeremiah said, “cursed is the man who trusts in man” (Jer. 17:5). But thank goodness Jesus has washed us and justified us and is continually sanctifying us because of the gospel!

The beauty of the gospel is that the blood of Christ has redeemed us from our sin, freed us from our pride, makes us positionally righteous before God, and now sends us out with this glorious hope to the world. Let this humble you today and fill you with a joy-filled thankfulness that Christ has called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light, in order that you, too, would proclaim the excellence of this good news!

ICTA – Identify, Confess, Thank, Ask

  1. Identify areas of your life in which you are naturally bent towards pride.
  2. Confess those things to your loving Father.
  3. Thank Jesus for the gospel that redeems you from your pride.
  4. Ask the Spirit to help you walk humbly with him as you live to share Jesus with others.

Scripture for further meditation: James 4:6-8

[1] I recommend reading how R.C. Sproul describes this moment in his book The Holiness of God, pp. 65-69. It will blow your mind to worship the holiness of Christ.

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