The Vineyard – Peter, A Pruned Branch
Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret,
teaching the people as they crowded around him to hear God’s message.
Near the shore he saw two boats left there by some fishermen
who had gone to wash their nets.
Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon
and asked him to row it out a little way from the shore.
When Jesus had finished speaking, he told Simon,
“Row the boat out into the deep water and let your nets down to catch some fish.”
“Master,” Simon answered, “we have worked hard all night long and have not caught a thing.
But if you tell me to, I will let the nets down.”
They did it and caught so many fish that their nets began ripping apart.
Then they signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them.
The men came, and together they filled the two boats so full that they both began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this happen, he knelt down in front of Jesus and said,
“Lord, don’t come near me! I am a sinner.”
Peter and everyone with him were completely surprised at all the fish they had caught.
Jesus told Simon, “Don’t be afraid!
From now on you will bring in people instead of fish.”
The men pulled their boats up on the shore.
Then they left everything and went with Jesus.
And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock.
This is the rock on which I will put together my church,
a church so expansive with energy
that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples
that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem,
submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed,
and then on the third day be raised up alive.
Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!”
“Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me,
like chaff from wheat. Simon,
I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out.
When you have come through the time of testing,
turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.”
Peter told Him, “Even if everyone runs away, I will certainly not!”
“I assure you,” Jesus said to him, “today, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times!”
But he kept insisting, “If I have to die with You, I will never deny You!”
And they all said the same thing.
They seized Him, led Him away, and brought Him into the high priest’s house.
Meanwhile Peter was following at a distance.
They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together,
and Peter sat among them.When a servant saw him sitting in the firelight,
and looked closely at him, she said, “This man was with Him too.”
But he denied it: “Woman, I don’t know Him!”
After a little while, someone else saw him and said, “You’re one of them too!”
“Man, I am not!” Peter said. About an hour later, another kept insisting,
“This man was certainly with Him, since he’s also a Galilean.”
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed.
Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter.
So Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him,
“Before the rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.”
And he went outside and wept bitterly.