It was just an ordinary Everyday for Peter. He and his brother, Andrew, are fishing when Jesus calls him to be a fisher of men and his Everyday is radically redefined. He’s one of Jesus’ closest disciples. He’s the spokesman—for good or ill. One moment he’s declaring that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God; the next, he’s being rebuked as Satan himself. He promised he would never deny Jesus, but he did. Three times. But, Everyday, Jesus was working on Peter.
Another day—not so much like Everyday—Peter stood in front of a multi-ethnic crowd gathered in Jerusalem. Just fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus, men and women from around the known world were gathered for Pentecost. This everyday man, who less than two months ago had denied Him, now stands to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:22–24)
Among the throng of people that day were those from Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bythinia and a host of other nations. Some of these responded, “What shall we do?” Peter responds:
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
Acts tells us that about 3000 people got saved that day. The gospel is shared. God’s people are growing, eating, praying, learning, and worshipping together. The gospel changes Everyday life for them and they are never the same. Everyday is radically redefined.
Many of these pilgrims chose to stay in Jerusalem rather than return home to their Roman districts. After some time, persecution caused a dispersion from Jerusalem. Everyday Christians from those Roman districts then made their way home and shared this good news of the Gospel in their regions. Churches were planted. Disciples made. Elders appointed. God was at work. But, like any church, these churches need encouragement, assistance, and instruction in the gospel.
While the gospel is spreading, Peter’s Everyday becomes anything but normal. He has a fruitful period of ministry visiting churches in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), encouraging them to set their hope fully on the grace of Jesus. His ministry, however, has not been without its share of hardship and suffering as Peter finds himself in Rome during Nero’s reign and his violent persecution of Christians. In spite of his own difficulties, Peter writes two letters to encourage the churches living out the mission of Jesus in the Everyday.
So, when we read 1 Peter, we read a letter from an everyday follower of Jesus to everyday churches filled with everyday people. Peter knows what it is like to fall and fail while following Jesus, and, as a result, Peter understands grace. The churches in this region needed to be encouraged in the midst of persecution and suffering, so we hear about hope. 1 Peter is written to people who have found their Everyday radically redefined by believing in Jesus—yes—but also by suffering for Jesus, and so, we hear about courage. 1 Peter tells us about the courage we need to live out the everyday mission of Jesus in our jobs, families, friends, and in our suffering.
Our prayer is that 1 Peter will fill us with grace, hope, and courage for the Everyday.