A student would have been delighted to hear the Savior teach and to observe the miracles that He performed. An attentive student might have even been convinced that Jesus was the Son of God. Peter was not a student. He was a disciple.
As Edward Sri, a professor of theology at the Augustine Institute clarified, “In the first-century Jewish world of Jesus, being a disciple was all about one key word: imitation. When a disciple followed a rabbi, the goal wasn’t merely to master the rabbi’s teachings but also to imitate the way he lived: the way he prayed, studied, taught, served the poor, and lived out his relationship with God day-to-day” (“In the Dust of the Rabbi: Clarifying Discipleship for Faith Formation Today,” Catechetical Review, Issue #4.2).
When Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, he didn’t see it as a sign to be acknowledged. He saw it as an invitation to act. “Lord, if it be thou,” he said, “bid me come unto thee on the water.” Jesus replied, “Come,” and Peter stepped out of the boat. (See Matthew 14:28-29.)
This week’s Come Follow Me lesson provides the following commentary on Peter’s request: “Perhaps Peter understood that the Son of God came not just to do wonderful things for the people but to empower people like Peter to do wonderful things too.”
Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40, English Standard Version).
The apostle Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1, New King James Version).
And to His disciples on the American continent, Jesus asked, “What manner of men ought ye to be?” Then, He answered, “Even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27).
Today, I will strive to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I will strive to emulate Him: to act as He acted, to teach as He taught, and to love others as He loves us.
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