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Greater Bible Reading Plan

Read Peter's story with us! From fisherman to disciple to prisoner, the story of Peter is a fascinating study in one man’s journey. Part of Jesus’ inner circle, Peter has triumphs and stumbles as he follows Christ. He experiences life-changing events and is called to go on a momentous mission. Ultimately, Peter’s story shows us how God’s grace is greater than your greatest regrets.

We hope you’ll join us on this journey! Explore the resources below to make the most of your reading with in-depth insights, Bible studies, discussion questions, and more.

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Weekly Bible Study Videos

Daily Readings: Week One

Day One - August 30

Meet Peter. Peter became one of the most influential people to ever live. If your name is Peter or you know someone named Peter, it’s because of this Peter. Before Peter was Peter, Peter was Simon, an ordinary fisherman living on the Northshore of the Sea of Galilee. The next two days, we’ll read about two of Peter’s first encounters with the man who would change his life. Here’s the first, the day Peter’s brother, Andrew, introduced him to Jesus.

John 1:35-42

Day Two - August 31

Peter was a fisherman. He was a fisherman because his father was a fisherman, because his grandfather was a fisherman, because... you get the point. Peter was a fisherman because he was born into a family of fishermen. Perhaps Peter had other dreams, but they were just that. When Jesus got into Peter’s boat that day (the day we are reading about today), things began to rapidly change for Peter.

Luke 5:1-11

Day Three - September 1

Today’s reading gives us a glimpse into what life was like following Jesus around. There’s more to the story, of course, and the gospels as a whole are well worth reading, but this gives us a snapshot of what Peter began to experience as a disciple of his rabbi (teacher) Jesus.

Matthew 8:14-27

Day Four - September 2

Today is a short, but important reading: a list of the 12 disciples. There are many other people who come to follow Jesus, but these are the 12 closest to him, the ones he invests in very intentionally, often pulling aside for special instruction. We will see that Peter becomes the de facto spokesperson for this group.

Luke 6:12-16

Day Five - September 3

Here’s another look at the kind of things Peter experienced with Jesus. You’ll note here (verse 37) that Peter, along with two other disciples, had a unique relationship with Jesus, even among the 12 disciples. We’ll continue to see that Peter, James, and John are often invited into experiences with Jesus that the other nine disciples are not invited into.

Mark 5:21-43

Daily Readings: Week Two

Day Six - September 6

Today’s reading gives us a snapshot of what it means to be a disciple. A disciple is trying to know what their rabbi knows, think like their rabbi thinks, do what their rabbi does, and, ultimately, to become like their rabbi. So, why does Peter have the audacity to do what he does in this reading? Well, he’s just trying to be like this rabbi.

Matthew 14:22-33

Day Seven - September 7

Peter was a fisherman. He was a fisherman because his father was a fisherman, because his grandfather was a fisherman, because... you get the point. Peter was a fisherman because he was born into a family of fishermen. Perhaps Peter had other dreams, but they were just that. When Jesus got into Peter’s boat that day (the day we are reading about today), things began to rapidly change for Peter.

Mark 8:27-9:1

Day Eight - September 8

Following Jesus wasn’t easy. What made it so difficult? Among other things, Jesus said things that were either hard to understand or easy to understand but hard to swallow. Like what he says in John 6. Our reading picks up right after he has said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” We know he’s looking ahead and seeing Communion, but no one knew that at the time. Our reading for today is the fallout from that conversation and concludes with Peter making one of his most profound observations. Think about how much Peter has already changed since day one.

John 6:60-69

Day Nine - September 9

Once again, it’s just Peter, James, and John. There is something he wants the three of them to see. Once again, Peter is the spokesperson, taking the lead for the three in Jesus’ inner circle. By the way, at this point, Peter has been following Jesus for about three years!

Mark 9:2-13

Day 10 - September 10

Jesus, Peter, the other 11, and a large crowd following Jesus are getting ready to head south to Jerusalem. Jesus knows what will happen there. Peter and the others do not seem to understand. Before setting out, Jesus does a little teaching, Peter makes an observation, and Jesus tells a story. After three years, Peter and the others still have a lot to learn.

Matthew 18:15-35

Daily Readings: Week Three

Day 11 - September 13

Now, we are in Jerusalem. Jesus and his followers have entered the city, Jesus has flipped over the tables in the temple (which he knew would cause the religious leaders to seek to have him killed), spent the week teaching people around the temple, and on the evening of Passover, Jesus gathers with the 12. We’ll begin today’s reading with John’s account and then switch over to Luke’s as they record different parts of the evening.

John 13:1-9, Luke 22:7-62

Day 12 - September 14

Today is a big deal. Remember on day seven when we said his greatest mistake was still to come? Here it is. You’ll notice that our reading plan does not include an account of the death of Jesus. Why? Peter wasn’t there. After our reading from today (which happened on a Thursday), Peter goes MIA until Sunday morning.

Luke 22:31-62

Day 13 - September 15

Sunday morning. What has Peter been doing since Thursday night? We don’t know, but we know what happened to Jesus on Friday, and we know Peter would have heard about it. Peter’s world had fallen apart. Here it begins to be put back together.

Luke 24:1-12

Day 14 - September 16

Today’s reading happens sometime after that Sunday morning and sometime before our reading for tomorrow (which rounds out Jesus’ life on earth). You’ll note that while the resurrection surely changed Peter, he did not go back to being a disciple immediately. What did he go back to? Before reading today, go back and read day two. Trust me!

It’s also worth remembering our reading from two days ago (how many times did Peter deny Jesus?). There is meaning on top of meaning in this passage. These are words worth coming back to time and time again to see what all Jesus was doing in Peter’s life that morning and what all Jesus might be doing in your life through this. [Side note: We go to this beach on our trips to Israel. Consistently, everyone says it is one of their favorite places.] [Side note 2: Might this be the same beach as Luke 5? Perhaps. Think about that!].

John 21:1-25

Day 15 - September 17

Today’s reading ends the story of Jesus’ life on earth (for now), but it is just the beginning of Peter’s story. In his final words to Peter and the others, Jesus sends the 11 (sans Judas) on a mission.

Matthew 28:16-20

Daily Readings: Week Four

Day 16 - September 20

With Jesus gone, Peter and the others are left with a daunting task. The task was given in last Friday’s reading (Matthew 28.18-20) and is given again in our reading today, though stated differently (Acts 1.8). They have a task, but think of how audacious of a mission this is. Peter and the others have neither the wisdom nor the power to do this. But they do have a first step: before you do anything else, wait (1.4).

Acts 1:1-26

Day 17 - September 21

Acts 2 is what they were waiting for. While Jesus is no longer with them physically, he had promised never to leave them. After he is gone, his Spirit comes. Look at what the Spirit does: the Holy Spirit gives them the ability to speak (2.4) and the boldness to speak (2.14). Let’s pause for a moment and take note of two things. First, the Spirit gave these followers the ability to speak in various languages (tongues) for a specific purpose: to share the good news of Jesus with people who spoke different languages. There’s nothing really mysterious about this; it’s a practical gift given for a practical purpose: to speak with people they would not ordinarily have the ability to speak with. Second, do you see our guy Peter!? Peter is bold. Gone are the days of Peter cowering when asked if he knows Jesus. Now, enlivened by the Spirit, he is telling everyone he can everything he knows about Jesus. The change has not come because Peter is suddenly more motivated or “inspired,”; it is because of what the Holy Spirit is doing inside of him.

Acts 2:1-47

Day 18 - September 22

Today’s reading is shorter and pretty straightforward. Here’s the wonderful thing about Acts 3: Who do Peter and John look a lot like in this passage? Remember, the goal of a disciple is to know what their rabbi knows, do what their rabbi does, and become more and more like their rabbi. Peter and John, after three years of studying with Jesus, now enlivened by his Spirit, are starting to sound and act a lot like Jesus.

Acts 3:1-26

Day 19 - September 23

Acts 4:19-20 is one of my favorite passages from the entire Bible. Peter and John are under arrest. Certainly, they know what happened to Jesus, and they know it can happen to them too. Yet they respond with such frankness, such boldness! It’s so good! This chapter is painting a picture for us, not only of Peter’s life shortly after Jesus’ death and resurrection, but also of what the early church looked like. Lives were being reoriented around the way of Jesus, and a new kind of community is emerging.

Acts 4:1-37

Day 20 - September 24

Before reading the beginning of chapter 5, go back and reread the last four verses of chapter 4. What happens to Ananias and Sapphira cannot be understood away from the context of what is happening with the community as a whole. God is building a new kind of community (“the church”), and what Ananias and Sapphira do poses a great threat to the health of this community in its infancy. The rest of chapter 5 continues to give us a look at what life was like for these believers in the early days of the church.

Acts 5:1-42

Daily Readings: Week Five

Day 21 - September 27

Do you remember the mission that Jesus gave Peter and the others at the beginning of Acts? Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” So far, the focus has been on Jerusalem. Something happens in chapter 7 (it’s worth reading), and the church in Jerusalem is scattered (8.1). Where are they scattered to? Judea and Samaria, where they are supposed to be headed anyway. The two passages from our reading today find Peter in precisely those two places. Peter travels to Samaria, and then he travels to another region of Judea (Jerusalem is in Judea), so the implication of 1.8 is to bear witness in Judea beyond just Jerusalem. One note to help with geography: Joppa is modern-day Tel Aviv.

Acts 8:9-25, 9:32-43

Day 22 - September 28

This is a big deal. In fact, it cannot be overstated just how big of a deal this is. Jesus had surprised everyone by ministering not just to his brother and sister Jews, but to non-Jews (Gentiles) as well. Still, the assumption in the early Church was that to become a Christian, one first needed to become a Jew. This would include, among other things, keeping the Jewish dietary laws (dealt with in this passage) and circumcision (perhaps the most hotly contested issue in the early Church). What no one saw coming (including Peter) is what Peter receives in a vision in our passage for today: God is busting open the doors to the Church. What happens in Acts 10 is the reason most of us (unless you are Jewish) are even reading this. Peter finds out that what God is doing through Jesus opens the doors for everyone to come in.

Acts 10:1-48

Day 23 - September 29

In today’s reading, Peter reports to the other church leaders what happened in chapter 10. One key verse below is 11.19. You’ll see that the good news of Jesus is spreading wide. People as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch were hearing about Jesus (this is a big deal), but it was not going deep (it was only going to the Jews in these communities). What the Spirit is doing now will take the gospel both wide (to the ends of the earth) and deep (to Jew and Gentile alike). The last word of this reading is also important: Saul. The beginning of Saul’s story is found in chapter 9 and is well worth the read. Saul becomes Paul, and we’ll talk more about Paul later this week.

Acts 11:1-30

Day 24 - September 30

After today’s reading, we only hear from Peter one more time. This, in so many ways, is the conclusion of Peter’s story as told in the scriptures. There are many other things we think we know about Peter thanks to church history and traditional understandings of what happens in his life after the biblical account is silent, but we are going to stick to the Scripture for this plan (feel free to Google “Peter” to learn more!). Here, we are reminded right off the bat of the danger Peter and the other followers of Jesus were always in. Peter is arrested, and a worse fate befalls James (note: there are two people named James in this passage). Peter then experiences one last miracle. This miracle sets him free, reunites him with the community, and allows him to continue his work of ministry. Like Jesus delivered from the tomb, much to the dismay and confusion of those who did not believe, Peter is miraculously freed, leading to dismay and confusion. Again, and for the last time, we see that Peter is looking more and more like his rabbi.

Acts 12:1-19

Day 25 - October 1

There are 13 more chapters in Acts, but Peter is absent after chapter 15. Why? Remember the mission: Acts 1:8. The church was borne witness to Jesus in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. Now, Acts turns its attention to how the good news spread to the ends of the earth. Peter has been a (if not “the”) central figure in the first half of Acts, now that mantle is passed on to another. It will be Paul who will lead the charge to the ends of the earth. What we see in Acts 15 is Peter blessing Paul’s ministry; we see Peter supporting Paul (“throwing his weight behind him”). With Peter’s backing, Paul receives the support of the church in Jerusalem and continues his work. The whole chapter is worth reading, but we end the reading below with verse 11, the last words Acts records of Peter, an ordinary fisherman who was called into an extraordinary life by Jesus.

Want more of Peter? Read 1 Peter and 2 Peter, two letters he wrote to encourage other early followers of Jesus.

Acts 15:1-11

Dig Deeper:


Week One Resources

Discussion Questions:

  1. Jesus knows not just who we are, but who we can become. Spend some time praying, asking Jesus to show you what he sees in you. Who could you become if you spent more time with Jesus and allowed him to transform your life?
  2. Is there an area in your life where you feel Jesus nudging you to do something that seems impractical or ridiculous? What would it look like to take a step of faith in that direction?
  3. What are the circumstances in your life that cause you fear or anxiety? What would it look like to turn this fear over to Jesus, trusting that he has the power (and desire) to bring peace in the storm?
  4. These stories show Jesus' power to bring restoration and healing to our lives, even though it may not always look the way we want it to. Are there areas of your life that feel sick or dead where you're seeking restoration? Spend a few moments in prayer, inviting Jesus into these circumstances.

Week Two Resources

Discussion Questions:

  1. In what ways might you need to set aside your own way of viewing the world, what's rational or possible, in order to follow Jesus?
  2. We may not have literal shrines to the false gods of our day, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. What are some of the people, things, or ideas that we tend to worship today, in place of worshiping God? Which of these do you find yourself most drawn in by?
  3. Where are you attempting to define what is "good" and "not good" in your life, rather than trusting God's definition of what is "good" and "not good?"
  4. In the Bible, the 'mountaintop' is a place where people go to have powerful encounters with God. What does this look like for you? What are your 'mountaintop' experiences? They may not have happened on a literal mountaintop, but these are experiences that radically shaped your relationship with God.
  5. How do you think our world defines forgiveness? What does our culture say about who is and is not deserving of forgiveness? How does that idea square with what you read today?
  6. What are you learning about discipleship through this reading plan? How would you define what it means to be a disciple? What does it involve?

Week Three Resources

Discussion Questions:

  1. In a world where people are constantly striving and clawing for power, Jesus reveals the true nature of leadership—to serve others in humility. What does it look like for you to reshape your idea of leadership following Jesus’ example?
  2. Are there ways where you too have been tempted to deny Jesus? Maybe not outright or verbally, but in little ways here or there in the way you live or in the way you present your beliefs to the people who ask you about them?
  3. Jesus tells Peter to keep on following him. What does it mean for you to view following Jesus as not a one-time decision, but a life-long practice?
  4. What does it look like for you to “make disciples” in the midst of your everyday, ordinary life?
  5. What does it really mean for Jesus to be with you today? Do you believe this to be true? Why or why not?

Week Four Resources

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does it mean for the Church to carry forward the ministry of Jesus? What does this look like for us as a local body of believers?
  2. The Holy Spirit can be a complex and mysterious part of our faith. How would you define the role the Spirit plays in our lives? What can you learn about that role through reading Acts 2? What stands out to you about the faith and lifestyle of these first believers? What practices or spiritual disciplines might God be calling you to explore as a result of what you read this week?
  3. Peter frequently beseeches the people to repent, to turn around and put their faith in Jesus. Is there anything God might be calling you to turn around from in your life? These could be actions you feel convicted to stop doing (or start doing), lies you may be believing about yourself, or thought patterns that need to be reshaped.
  4. In the face of the High Priest's questioning, Peter tells them, "We must obey God rather than men." When you think about your life now, are there areas where you are tempted to be a people-pleaser rather than keeping your eyes focused on God?

Week Five Resources

Discussion Questions:

  1. When it comes to your life, are you primarily about the work of making your name great, or are you focused on making God's name great? Why do you think that is?
  2. Your story matters. What God has done in your life could be the very thing that inspires others to believe. Who can you share your story with this week?
  3. Just like Abraham's family, we are blessed to be a blessing. The church doesn't only exist for what it can do for you, but for what you can partner with the church to do for the rest of the people in your community. Spend a few moments in prayer, asking God how you can be a blessing to those around you who most need it this week.
  4. What do you think we can learn today from the early church in these stories?