The story of Peter intrigues me. Peter was a loose cannon. He was more a collection of loose sharp rocks than a solid Rock.
Jesus, Who knew all, undoubtedly saw the future, including Peter’s temper tantrums and denial.
And yet Jesus chose him … fetched him out of a fishing boat … and trained him personally for the work to which God was calling him.
As much as Jesus saw Peter’s youthful arrogance, there was a moment when Peter understood he was powerless in The Presence of The One Who was All Power.
Perhaps Peter was caught off guard by Jesus’ question. They were all just talking about who everybody thought Jesus was.
Jesus had said
“But what about you?” Who do you say I am?”
In that moment, Peter knew The Answer. I can imagine the words just gushing forth from his mouth, perhaps even surprising him.
“You are The Messiah, The Son of The Living God!”
And with that, Jesus told Peter who he was … why He had chosen him … who he would become when he was perfected in God’s Time.
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven.
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.”
Peter followed Jesus. His passion never wavered … but his passion was often not focused in the right direction.
He thought he could walk on water. He couldn’t alone, but he could with Jesus.
He tried to dispute God’s Plan for Jesus. He couldn’t. Jesus identified satan tempting him.
He thought he could stop God’s Plan by force. He cut off a soldier’s ear in what he thought was a defense of Jesus. Jesus rebuked him and told him to put his sword away.
And then … Jesus was about to be killed. And Peter was powerless to stop God’s Plan … nor did he understand it.
He was confused and afraid. And he did the unthinkable. He denied he even knew Jesus.
Jesus had told him he would. He was sure he wouldn’t. He knew himself … or did he.
A rooster’s crow threatened to condemn him. The anguish of sin engulfed him. An empty tomb stunned him. Peter did not know what to do. He felt more empty than the tomb.
And then there was Jesus standing before him, His Arms open wide. It is not recorded what they said to each other, but I think Jesus would have said to Peter what He said about those crucifying Him.
“Father, forgive him. He did not know what he was doing.”
Peter finally understood what Grace felt like. And he knew what he was called to do. He was to teach his world the Joy of being forgiven.
His God given passion turned into passion for God … and upon that rock, God built His Church.
What has God called you to do? Are you doing it?
When you know Who He is, you will know who you are and why you are here!
I invite you to reflect on the wonder of Grace as you listen to this song.