Thirteen year old Simon would frequently fight with the two sons of Zebedee and he had done so yet again. "What was it this time?" His mother asked scoldingly. Simon cringed as his mother continued spreading the ointment over his cuts and bruises. "Just the usual, eema, we were fighting over who was better." His mother shook her head "better at what?" She asked dipping the cloth back into the ointment and then she spread it out over her son's skin, again. "Just who's better at anything- and everything." Simon answered. His mother tried to hold back her amusement at her son. He always wanted to be the best at everything. "Well, I think you're the best, Simon, but you shouldn't fight about it." Simon reluctantly agreed, he never argued with his mother.
He got hurt a lot mainly by fighting but sometimes just cause of foolish accidents like most young boys have. The thirteen year old soon turned fourteen.
Simon knew a great deal about fishing, after all he'd grown up all his life fishing. He was a strapping young man of 14 and he was as stubborn as they came. "You're pulling the net too tight, Simon!" His father warned. "No, I'm not!" Simon argued. "I know what I'm doing!" The net began to tear and then much to Simon's horror it completely ripped apart in his hands. "No!" Simon yelled as he reached for the rest of the net but it was too late the net was ripped and the fish were escaping. "You must quit doing that, Simon!" Jonah scolded the boy. Simon turned around to see his father looking at him angrily. "You have to learn to listen!" Simon looked at the bottom of the boat in shame. "I'm so sorry, abba." Jonah said nothing more as he rowed them back to shore. The younger boy waited on shore for them.
"How'd it go?" He asked. Jonah and Simon did not answer. Jonah tied down the boat and then walked away to cool down. Simon just stood there with his head down in shame. "Was it that bad?" Andrew asked. Simon merely sighed in response. "I didn't listen, like I should have." Instead of offering sympathy Andrew merely shrugged "it's typical Simon, so what?" Simon looked at his brother with a look that clearly said 'just stop.' "What? You never listen, that's the way you are, Simon." Simon knew it was true, unfortunately he had a reputation of not listening to people. He couldn't keep excusing himself. "I went too far this time though, I caused the net to rip and the fish got away." Simon explained. "Oh, I'm sorry, Simon." Now it was Simon's turn to shrug "it's not your fault, Andrew, nothing for you to be sorry about." Eight minutes later their father Jonah returned and said it was time to eat. Andrew went forward ahead of them in case Simon and Jonah needed to talk among themselves.
Jonah merely put his arm around Simon's shoulders as they walked side by side. Simon turned his head to his father questionably. "I'm still proud of you, son." Simon shook his head at his father and asked "proud of me for what? Ripping the net, losing the fish, or both?" Jonah shook his head. "I'm proud of you for always trying, even if you get too head strong at times, I am proud of you for trying." Simon faintly smiled at that. "Thankyou, abba." Simon felt better after that.
His mother made a wonderful stew and bread to go with it. "We should have some fish tomorrow night, right, Simon?" Jonah asked looking across the table at his elder son. Simon nodded "yes, we'll have fish, tomorrow, eema, that's a promise." His eema smiled "that sounds wonderful, Simon." Simon smiled at that as he slurped up the last of his stew.
The night grew cool and Simon and Andrew grabbed extra blankets for their family. "Thankyou boys." Their mother said as they laid the blankets down on their mother and father's bed. The boys nodded and then they went to get ready for bed.
The fourteen year old soon became fifteen. He grew tall and strong and wise when it came to fishing anyway. He had few friends but he liked it that way. He was a good boy and did well even in Torah school. He mainly excelled at fishing though. Some said he'd gotten to be even better at it then his father.
He huffed and puffed as he reached his brother.
Simon looked up from the net he was repairing. "What're you running for or from?" Simon asked his brother. Andrew tried to catch his breath but he was to excited. "J-John...he-is a prophet." Andrew finally managed to get out. Simon looked at his brother quizzically. "You mean John the son of Zebedee?" Andrew shook his head and by now he was breathing normally. "Not that John, the John we played with as children, the one who would swim with us." Simon almost laughed at such a claim. "That scraggly looking kid is a prophet, now?" Andrew did not join in with Simon's chuckling "he really is, Simon, his words are unlike anything I've ever heard, he preaches repentance and remission of sins and he claims to be the predecessor of the Messiah!" Simon got serious at the mention of the Messiah. They had waited for years for the Messiah to come and deliver his people and this John claimed to be his predecessor? "Are you sure, brother?" Simon asked rising from the river bank where he'd been sitting. "As sure as I breathe those were his exact words!" Simon could feel adrenaline pulsing through him. "In our lifetime brother, we may actually see the Messiah!" Andrew too was excited "yes, yes, wouldn't it be miraculous!" Simon instructed his brother to follow John and to listen and learn all he could from the man. "And Andrew, if he ever introduces who the Messiah is or if he ever says his name please come and tell me so that I at least may gaze upon our deliverer!" Andrew nodded "I shall, brother, I shall!" And with that Andrew was off to hear John speak again and Simon went back to mending his nets. He said a silent prayer petioning Adonai that he might but gaze upon the face of the Messiah. He wondered how long it would take the Messiah to drive out the romans and he wondered if perhaps there were some way he might be able to help him do it. How readily Simon would take on the fiends who had blasphemed his God. They were pigs and he wanted to show them just how he felt. He spent the rest of the day thinking about the prophecies of Isaiah and imagining what the Messiah would be like. He got home later then intended because he had daydreamed quite a bit.
"You are home late" said his wife (Deborah) Simon nodded. "I'm sorry, my love, Andrew distracted me, so it took longer to mend the nets." Simon took his place at the table and Deborah put his plate in front of him. "Thankyou, my love." Deborah nodded. "So, what was your little brother up to this time?" She asked with a playful smile. She knew better than most just how childish and teasing the two brothers were. "He was telling me about a new prophet." Simon said just before he took a bite of his scrumptious bread. Deborah was intrigued by the news "a new prophet?" The fisherman nodded "so Andrew says anyway." The two talked for some time about the supposed new prophet and Simon told Deborah about their childish adventures with John back when they were younger.
Simon looked up at the teacher with tears in his eyes. His words echoed in Simon's mind 'follow me' he'd actually asked Simon to join him? Despite all that I've done he wants me? Simon found such a thing to wonderful to be true. He wants me! Simon slowly rose from his bowing position. He noticed that the teacher was waiting for his response. Simon nodded at the man and he wiped at his eyes with the backs of his hands. "I will, Master, I will follow you!" Jesus smiled at him and in that moment Simon felt as if God himself were smiling at him (he'd find out later that he actually had been.)
Thaddeus got into the little boat first but Simon and the others were not far behind. "Let us go to the other side of the lake" Jesus said once he'd gotten into the boat. Simon and the other fishermen nodded, they were the most skilled with boats hence they usually were the ones to row and guide the boat along. Sometime after they pushed off Jesus fell asleep, Simon briefly thought of waking his Master but decided against it, he needed his rest. He was so human and yet so- unhuman. It was a puzzling thing to think about. Simon felt a coolness touch his skin and he looked to the once blue sky to see that it was now a dark black. The waves started to rise and the wind began to blow. Simon had never known a storm to come up so quickly. The wind whipped all around them causing the small boat to rock back and forth. "We must wake the master!" Thaddeus cried out. Simon agreed with him and they both scooted toward their sleeping Master. The wind was blowing all around him and the water was splashing up onto him but Jesus was still sleeping. How is he sleeping through this? Thaddeus reached Jesus first and he shook him roughly. The other disciples had also started panicking. Three other disciples joined Thaddeus in shaking Jesus awake. "Lord, save us, we perish!" Everyone cried. "Why are you fearful?" Jesus asked eyeing them. "Oh ye of little faith." Simon felt as if he'd been slapped in the face. Jesus was right, he hadn't shown any faith. Then Jesus arose and rebuked the winds and the sea and it immediately became calm. Simon's faith in Jesus grew greatly that day. All the disciples marvelled at Jesus. He stood there looking so normal- and yet so un-normal. "What manner of man is this?" Simon (the zealot) asked. "For even the winds and waves obey him." You truly are the son of God Simon thought as he gazed at his Master's face. He was truly the Son of God.
Andrew waited on the shore for his father and elder brother to return. He was looking forward to fishing with his father, his father was actually going to let him cast the net this time just as Simon often did.
"Simon, remember what I taught you about pulling it to tight, you don't want the ropes to stretch." Jonah cautioned. Simon nodded "yes, abba." Simon managed to pull up the net which was full of scaly fish. "I did it!" Simon yelled happily. "Abba, I actually pulled up the net by myself!"
Twenty four years later Simon now known as Peter pulled up a man who had been crippled. He had been a fisherman but Jesus had made him a fisher of men. He healed the sick and cast out demons in Jesus' name but he knew that the greatest thing was that his name was written in the lambs book of life. That was what mattered most and that was why he shared the good news with everyone and anyone. Regardless of persecution and regardless of trouble. He loved Jesus with all of his heart and he always would, till the very end.
Simon Peter was ready to die. He had fought a good fight and he was ready to see his Lord again. He was to be hung upside down just as he had requested to be. The moment he was on the cross he felt lightheaded. All his blood had surely run down to his skull. He would soon be in the presence of Jesus, again. He closed his eyes as death took him.
(Thanks for reading I really appreciate you taking the time to read it scriptural references Mark 4:35-41 5:1-20 Luke 8:22-29 and Mathew 8:23-27 )
(P.S happy early Easter! God bless)