Peter gets a lot of flack in sermons all around the world for his unbelief the second he stopped walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33)… but my question is did any of the other disciples get out of the boat? No. What about when he denied Jesus three times after Jesus was arrested. (John 18:15-27) Where were the other disciples then? In hiding? Yet, Peter gets all the flack for his moments of weakness. If you haven’t guessed, the relationship I chose to analyze was that of Peter and Jesus, and how it relates to our own walk with Christ.
Sometimes I feel a lot like Peter, impulsive, acting before I fully think about what I’m doing. At other times, I wish I could shut my brain off and be more impulsive. Either way, Peter does have a childlike quality when he challenges Jesus to a “prove it” moment as Jesus is walking on water. However, the second his brain starts working and realizes what he is doing, the world starts caving in on him, and he starts sinking.
Do you have moments where Christ challenges you to do something, maybe something a little daring or unpredictable? or even unconventional? Do you follow through? If you are like Peter or me, you might get the ball rolling, but the second your brain realizes what you are doing, the doubt creeps in. As Christians, I believe we can be a bit timid. Christ doesn’t call us to lead a safe, comfortable, and quiet life. Let’s fast-forward a few years. Where do we find Peter? Performing miracles, preaching, teaching, and leading the early believers, laying his life on the line to spread a message he whole-hardheartedly believes in. I don’t see any doubt or wavering. Timid would not be a word anyone would use to describe this force of a man. I see a man firm in his beliefs serving a risen Savior, in whom he would (and did) die for.
Where do you find yourself? Are you a pre-crucifixion Peter? or a post-resurrection Peter? Pre-crucifixion Peter had good intentions and faith, albeit a bit shaking and untested, but he had faith! What do we see in post-resurrection Peter? A purpose or calling, a tested and sure faith, and a Christ-led man. (Check out the book of Acts!) Those things didn’t happen overnight. Let’s face it post-resurrection Peter wouldn’t be the same without pre-crucifixion Peter. Our trials and temptations are what shape our Christian faith. Probably the most important part of Peter’s day-to-day life and ministry was his time with Christ while He was on Earth and the Holy Spirit afterwards. This relationship fostered and strengthened Peter’s faith, gave him the courage and proof he need to live a radically changed life. How about you? How is your day-to-day relationship with your Savior? Are you still hoping to live the comfortable and safe version of a Christian life? or have you graduated to the radical and spirit-led existence of post-resurrection Peter?
Romans 12: 1-2
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We are not called to live a comfortable life, following our Savior, having a relationship with our Savior, only on our terms. Our lives, nothing, is our own. Our friends, family, and significant other are all on loan from a Heavenly Father who is calling us to live a radical serving Him and His children. Peter understood this better than anyone as he stared Christ in the face after his resurrection, a man who by all accounts should have been dead and buried. Peter’s life changed in that moment, as did yours the second you decided to accept the salvation granted to you by God’s grace and sacrifice. Romans 12 outlines what He asks from us in return, a transformed new life, glorifying and worshiping Him. Are you a pre-crucifixion Peter, waiting on the rooster to crow to reveal your lack of faith? or are you going to be a post-resurrection Peter, transformed and serving a Heavenly Father who is eagerly awaiting your worship?