I’ve always felt some connection to the disciple Peter as he’s depicted in the book of Mark. I like to say that in the book of Mark, Peter is the first documented case of ADD/ADHD. He’s jumping into boats, he’s jumping out of boats. He’s doing things rash and quickly shifts gears at the oddest moments. He’s hyper vocal (very loquacious if you ask me) and all and all highly impulsive. Now many have told me that, no, he’s enthusiastic and dedicated. Sure. Yes. He is. But I still say he’s the first documented case.
But it’s always in the book of John where we see Jesus truly working with him as any world class teacher would. At the end of the Gospels, Peter denies Jesus. He doesn’t betray him like Judas does, no, he denies him.
He’s frightened. He’s afraid. Jesus was just arrested. He attacked one of the palace guards with a dingy sword even though Jesus had told him not to. And then, he saw Jesus put on trial. So many people talkin smack about Jesus and all the while, there was Peter, there was his boy, there was one of his dearest friends, watching from a far. And when he was asked if he knew Jesus, just kinda sorta maybe knew, Peter blurted out that he didn’t. And then he realized he failed. Epically.
And yet, at end of the Gospel of John, Jesus welcomes Peter back. I’ve always been amazed at that. Peter get’s welcomed back. Not just welcomed back, but he’s even given an important job to do–take care of Jesus’ people. Wow. He’s called to do something just down right amazing.
Whenever I look at that, I constantly think about all the dumb things I’ve done over the years. I think of all the dumb things I’ve blurted out (the ones that should have ended three sentences before they actually did). I think of all the dumb things I’ve been a part of. And yet even with all of that, I’m still welcomed back.
One of the things about the story of Peter is that he lived up to the hype. Not his own. Goodness knows he couldn’t have lived up to his own hype. He was called the rock but he was all over the place, nothing ever really firm. He was told he’d be the one used to build the church yet he couldn’t even handle talking about Jesus to a few people, let alone even admitting he knew the dude.
And now here’s the thing, the hype given, was by Jesus. Jesus is the one who called him the Rock. He’s the one who said he’d be the one used to help build the church. And Peter just didn’t add up.
Not until Peter realized Jesus believed in him. Not just that, but knew him. Knew was he was capable of doing. And gave him great responsibility. And with great responsibility comes great power… wait, no, that’s Spider man I think.
And Peter rose the occasion. He preached such an amazing sermon that 3,000 people believed in Jesus that day. From this one guy who couldn’t tell three people he even knew the guy.
Sometimes I think Jesus believes in me more than I do in him. He knows what I’m capable of but I don’t always trust in what he calls me to do. And just like Peter, he welcomes me back. Not just welcomes me back, but calls me to greatness–to glorify his name by what he has called me to do.
So, I go onward, knowing that no matter where I go, he’s there. I go onward knowing that no matte what, he is with me. I go onward knowing that he has called me to greatness–to glorify him.
No matter how far you go, you’re always welcomed back. And when you come to him, oh, he’ll do amazing things with you as well. The question is, will you let him?