Peter denied knowing Jesus three times in his darkest hour (John 18:15-27). Peter lied about his knowing Jesus thinking he was saving his own skin. After spending three years with Jesus, watching him love those that were hurting, perform healing miracles, teach and preach – he still couldn’t help himself and lied EVEN AFTER Jesus totally told Peter he was going to do it.
Peter loved Jesus. He must have felt awful; and that’s putting it mildly. So much so that after Jesus’ resurrection, when the apostles see Jesus on the shoreline while they were fishing, Peter is the only one that jumps in the water and swims in from the boat to meet him (John 21:7).
Earlier Jesus called Peter the rock upon which he will build his church (Matthew 16:18). Jesus saw the potential in Peter even before Peter did himself. As a matter of fact, Peter lied about knowing Jesus AFTER he gave him the vision for his future – the rock of the church comment. Jesus had a vision for Peter’s life and Peter didn’t see it – not yet.
Does Jesus have a vision for your life? I’ll be he does.Do you see it yet?
Have you ever screwed things up even after you’ve come to follow Jesus? If you’re like me, I’ll bet you have.
Just remember that Peter was about as big a screw up as there was. Even after living with Jesus AND being told by him he’ll have a critical role in the development of the kingdom of God on this earth, Peter caved under pressure and lied about knowing Jesus.
So, Peter is a liar. But that’s not what we remember him for.
God used the junk of Peter’s past to change Peter’s heart. By the time Peter finished the swim into meet his Lord, their walk on the beach sealed the deal. Jesus asked if Peter loved him and Peter responded three times that he did (more to that conversation in a future post). Peter was being change or sanctified into the man that Jesus knew him to be. And he became a key figure in the development of the early church.
God can use our junk from the past to shape us to his desires – just like Peter. That’s what I hope to be remembered for. God refining the junk from my past into his purposes.