I love to think about the Apostle Peter. He shoots from the hip; speaks before he thinks and has passion…much like the rest of us! He made mistakes and learned from them; this is the usefulness of mistakes…to learn from them. The selfish disciple Judas, a thief, only thinking of himself (much like many of us) realized he made a mistake in betraying Jesus, and instead of learning and growing from this mistake, he hangs himself…another sign of his selfishness.
Peter, with a focus on Jesus can walk on water, but one who worries about a storm, starts to sink. We who worry about the waves crashing against us will also sink if our focus is not on Christ Jesus. One evening, long ago Peter proudly forcefully tells all that he would die for Jesus, but within hours, he denies he even knows Christ. What can be gained from such a stumble from a man who walked with Christ for three years?
If we learn from our mistakes, we will grow; if we will follow Jesus, we will grow! Peter gained perspective…on who he was and who Jesus Christ was; throw in the Holy Spirit at Pentacost, and you have a great Apostle Preacher! The kind of preacher that strongly enters the Jewish Temple and lays down a hard-hitting truth on the guilty, as we read in Acts 3:13-15:
“The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murder be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.”
Peter was indeed an eye-witness for a truth he did in fact end up dying for. This is Holy Week, what can we learn? Will we too stand up for Jesus? Who will you follow?