Hi. I’m Peter.
OK, not really, but in many ways, I am like Peter. And so are you.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same. (Matthew 26:34, 35 NLT)
We all know how this ended. Peter ran away in shame after doing the very thing he vowed not to do.
Have you been there? You promised yourself, or someone else, that you would never do that, and then you go ahead and do it anyway. You’re Peter.
It’s easy to point out Peter’s mistake. It is right there in writing; recorded for all of history to read. And it is easy to be totally flabbergasted that he would do such a thing. I mean, this is Peter?!? This is one of the top 12, hand selected by Jesus for a specific purpose. Peter was the rock on which the church was built. Peter got to hang out with Jesus pretty much 24/7 for 3 years. Peter walked on water. Peter. Walked. On. Water!
Yet, even Peter denied Jesus.
This tells me two things.
1. Peter is still human. God chose Peter (Simon), defects and all. God had a specific purpose in mind when he chose Peter. God knew, when he chose Peter, that Peter would deny Jesus.
I am human, too. So God must have chose me for a specific purpose.
I am sure when Peter sat down and really thought about what he had just done, and then got over the shock that Jesus called it, and then the guilt, shame, and kicking himself for telling Jesus he was wrong…after all that…he must have wondered why Jesus would ever pick a guy like him to be one of his disciples I am sure he didn’t feel very worthy of God’s love, and didn’t have any reason to believe that he had been chosen for greatness. But here we are, 2000 years later, still reading, discussing, questioning, and praising Peter.
There are a lot of days where I don’t feel chosen, or worthy, or deserving of God’s love. But maybe at the end of my life I will see what God had in mind for me. Or, maybe God will reveal it to me in heaven. Or, maybe it won’t even matter when I am standing in the throne room, worshiping my creator in the complete absence of shame.
2. I need Jesus.
Standing on that boat, in the presence of God, Peter courageously threw his legs over the side of the boat, stood up, and walked across the water towards Jesus. When Peter was with Jesus, he could do anything. After Jesus had been taken away, arrested, and about to go on trial to be found guilty, tortured, and crucified for our sins before rising from the dead and ascending into heaven to prepare a place for us, Peter stood there, still believing that he would follow Jesus to the death seconds before denying he even knew the man. Without Jesus, Peter lost all faith. Without Jesus, Peter was afraid.
Peter got to hang with Jesus physically. We have the choice to hang with Jesus spiritually until such a time that we can see his face. Every morning when we open our eyes we make a choice to either live for ourselves or to follow God.
I’m not sure about you. But, when I choose Jesus, I feel strong, bold, and fearless. I feel like someone has my back, and I can move forward with confidence and decisiveness. The problem is, I choose me more often than I choose him. I definitely need more Jesus.
I am Peter…and that’s OK. Because Peter finished strong, and so can I.
So was I right? Are you Peter?