ADDoration Ministries
Friday, July 30, 2021
God is SO GOOD; although I have ADD.

Peter the disciple


Simon Peter was one of Jesus's 12 disciples, and he was probably the most valuable disciple to Jesus.

Peter's human frailties were really of value in advancing Jesus's message to believers. This is because Peter had shortcomings that today's believers can identify with. To me, Peter is the disciple whom I most identify with. Consequently, believers can reason, "If Peter was of value to Jesus, then I can be of value to Jesus."

Some of Peter's shortcomings were evidence that he was perhaps ADD. Of course, biblical times were long before anybody heard of ADD. The ADD traits evident in Peter included impulsiveness and poor self-esteem. However he also very much had positive ADD traits, such as compassion, sensitivity, and see things from a unique perspective. Impulsiveness -- Peter was especially known for that.


When Jesus first called Peter to be a disciple, "Fishers of men," his poor self-esteem came forward with his response. Luke 5:8, But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!"

Peter's ADD positive and negative sides both showed up in Matthew 16:14-25. Jesus asked, "Who do people say I am?" The other disciples suggested Elijah, Jeremiah, and John The Baptist. Then Peter came through with his keen unique perspective with, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven." Then Jesus gave him a new name of "Peter" meaning The Rock. Jesus said that he will build his church on that rock. However, then Peter blew it with his impulsiveness, when Jesus predicted his crucifixion. Peter told Jesus aside and said, "We can't let that happen to you." Then Jesus said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things." Peter was too quick to speak up, while he did not get it about the crucifixion being part of God's plan. In other words, Peter didn't understand the whole story. While disciples thought humanly, they were an obstacle to Jesus.

Jesus walked on the water. Awestruck Peter was impulsive enough to try walking on the water. Peter's spiritual insight was no match for Jesus, consequently Peter sank, when he tried it. Jesus gladly saved him from drowning. (Matthew 14:28-31)

The Transfiguration in Matthew 17:2-5 is another time that Peter was too quick to speak. Peter impulsively suggested that they make three dwellings, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and the third for Elijah. But immediately God spoke from a cloud and said, "This is my Son." To Peter, the voice from the cloud meant, "Hold on -- only Jesus is unique!!! Let's not give equal status to Jesus, Moses, and Elijah."


At the Last Supper, per John 13:5-9, Jesus began to wash the feet of the disciples. In those days, washing feet was an indication of hospitality, in view of the dusty roads. When it was Peter's turn, he exclaimed to Jesus, "No Way!!!" That was impulsive for Peter to reject Jesus's washing feet. But, after Jesus said, "You would have no part of me," Peter over-reacted and requested, "Give me a complete bath."

That same evening, when Jesus was arrested, Peter impulsively took his sword and cut off the ear of an arresting officer. But Jesus rebuked Peter with, "We will have none of that -- put your sword back in it's sheath." (John 18:10-11)

Peter's denial is perhaps the most frequently quoted story about Peter on the night of Jesus's arrest. Details of the denial vary among the four Gospels. Jesus knew Peter's human weakness and advised him, "You will deny me three times, before the rooster crows." Peter protested, "Oh no, I will stick with you!!!" When Jesus was arrested, Peter was bold enough to be the only disciple who followed them; however he followed from a distance. Peter had some hesitation about following them. While they were at the high priest's home, twice somebody said to Peter, "You were with Jesus -- I saw you." But Peter protested, "I don't know him!!!" The third time, somebody said to Peter, "You talk like a Nazarene; therefore you must be one of them." Peter vehemently protested, "I don't know what you are talking about!!!" Immediately a rooster crowed, "Cocka-doddle-doo." Anybody who has lived near a poultry farm knows the way a rooster shatters the silence, during the early morning. Immediately, Peter remembered what Jesus predicted. Peter went outside and wept bitterly, because he was painfully aware of his weakness.


Especially with the resurrection, the story varies among the four gospels. Most commonly believed is that Mary Magdelene was one of the first to discover that Jesus had risen from the grave, and she then quickly told Peter. The Gospel John reports that another disciple outran Peter to the grave. John reports that the other disciple hesitated to enter the grave, but impulsive risk-taking Peter eagerly entered the grave to check the evidence, such as the linens left behind.


John 21 vividly tells about Peter's human weaknesses when the Risen Christ was with the fishermen on the Sea of Tiberias. Peter had returned to his former fishing occupation, perhaps because of discouragement after Jesus's crucifixion. Jesus advised the fishermen, "Cast the net on the other side of the boat." Upon heeding that suggestion, they caught so many fish, that they had difficulty bringing them in. Suddenly naked Peter realized that Jesus was there. Some sources say that it was customary to work without the encumbrance of clothing. Regardless, excitable Peter not only quickly put on clothes, but he also jumped overboard.

When they had finished breakfast, Peter's ADD quick temper showed up the dialog with Jesus. Jesus said to Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." Jesus asked Peter a second time, "Do you love me." Peter replied the same thing, and Jesus again requested feed lambs. But Jesus asked Peter a third time, "Do you love me." The third time infuriated Peter, big time. I can picture Peter angrily responding, "Daggone it -- didn't you hear me when I twice told you that I love you!!! How many times must I say that before you believe me??? What more do you want???" Again Jesus requested, "Feed my sheep." Some scholars say that Jesus asked three times, because Peter denied him three times.

But still, Jesus had plans for Peter; although Peter expressed anger. Jesus sent Peter out on a commissioning. The "Feed my sheep" request means take care of the needs of your fellow believers in Christ, and reach out to non-believers too.

Immediately after "Feed my sheep" impulsive Peter struck again in John 21:20-22. Peter inquired, "What is going to happen to who is your beloved?" Jesus responded, "What is that to you -- just follow me." Peter did not need to know the fate of John, because only God knows. Peter was trying to take over God's authority. Just follow Jesus -- that is all that is expected of Peter.


The book of Acts tells that Peter went on to be very valuable to Jesus during the earliest days of Christianity. Peter's positive ADD traits came forward during the earliest years of the Christian church.

The first Pentecost is a prime example of Peter, when his unique intuitive insights came forward. Certainly God carried Peter on that day. Peter preached without any rehearsal. Acts describes the scene with imagery that would blow your mind -- wind and flames, along with that people could understand each other, with an assortment of languages and dialects. Some said that people are drunk. Peter became God's instrument, when he spoke. Peter said, "They are not drunk, for it is only 9:00 in the morning." Peter went on to say that the prophet Joel predicted this moment, a long time ago. This is the same disciple who once said of Jesus, "You are the Messiah." Peter forcefully spoke about the significance of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus -- along with the significance of ancestor David. The congregation then responded, "What are we supposed to do about it?" Peter then answered, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Consequently three thousand were converted, on that day. I suspect that in today's world, not even Billy Graham converted three thousand in one day. This is the day that many people say was the birth of the Christian church.

In Acts 3, Peter's compassionate side shows. A lame beggar approached Peter, expecting a handout. Peter said to the beggar, "I don't have any money to give you, but I have something better for you. In the name of Jesus, stand up and walk." People were awestruck at seeing this man walk, because he had regularly been begging at that temple. Peter had acquired the healing gift from Jesus. Peter's compassion aided his Holy Spirit.

Later in Acts 8, Peter's keen insight revealed the misuse of money. Again Peter and John were healing people. A man offered to pay Peter for the healing gift. Peter intuitively saw that this man wanted the healing technique, so as to make money from it. Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God's gift with money! You have no part or share in this, for your heart is not right before God."


In Acts 10, Peter has a powerful message against any prejudice toward those of differing religions or ethnic groups. This is the well-known Peter at Joppa. Peter was Jewish, as was Jesus and the other disciples. A devout Gentile military officer, Cornelius, heard God suggest, "Send your men to visit a man named Peter." God told Cornelius where to find Peter.

Meanwhile, Peter went up on the roof to pray. While Peter was on the roof, he got hungry and saw a vision. In the vision, Peter saw a number of animals that Jewish dietary laws don't permit eating. He heard a voice saying, "Get up, Peter; kill and eat." But Peter said, "By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean." The voice said to him again, a second time, "What God has made clean, you must not call profane." In the vision, the non-Kosher food was symbolic of that Jews consider Gentiles to be inferior.

While Peter was greatly puzzled about what to make of the vision, suddenly the men sent by Cornelius appeared. Peter asked why they are here. Peter gave the men lodging, while they stayed with him. The next day, Cornelius himself came to visit Peter.

Peter said to them, "As you know, Jews are not permitted to associate with Gentiles; however God has revealed to me that Gentiles are equal with Jews. Hence I am glad to see you, because you and I are brothers in Christ." Peter went on to say, "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ. He is Lord of all."

Peter at Joppa is a powerful message that we are all equal brothers in Christ.


Although Peter had ADD weaknesses of impulsiveness and poor self-esteem, other positive ADD characteristics greatly helped Peter to serve the Lord. Peter developed and became a very special servant of Jesus. He became among the most instrumental during the earliest spread of Christianity.

Like Peter, other ADD handicapped people can be very special servants of Jesus.

<*(((>< your ADD brother in the Risen Christ,

Lester Hemphill
Founder of ADDoration Ministries