Peter. Peter. Peter.
I’m Peter. You’re a Peter. We all have been a Peter at one time or another.
I’m certain we can all identify. Peter would often say or do things that brought about a lot of eye rolling from his comrades.
So many times we can have a mind full of stuff and this hinders our ability to be mindful.
Let’s look at Peter’s approach to being mindful.
Peter thought He was helping. He really did. Upon Jesus telling him about what He would go through and ultimately his death, we see Peter stepping in.
Matthew 16:22-23 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke him, saying far be it from you, Lord this shall not happen to you. But He turned and said to Peter, Get behind me Satan!
Well, that didn’t go as planned thought Peter.
You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.
We can’t wrap our brain around it. Peter being overly zealous rebukes Jesus. Makes no sense. But here we are. Everyone and Peter.
On The Mountain with Peter
Exactly six days later, Jesus takes Peter, James and John up on a high mountain. By themselves. And waalah! he transfigures himself with his face shining like the sun. His clothes as white as light. Moses and Elijah appear and talk with him.
And Peter said. You guessed it. A holy hush moment, heaven is waiting to respond, but not Peter.
I don’t know about you but I can relate. Sometimes nerves kick in and the awkward silence is just too much. I mean the anxiety of those moments scream for relief. For words to ease the awkwardness.
So Peter chimes in. Oh heavens, wait for it. The sacred, holy moment of awe gets quenched as Peter belts out. I’ve got it! Here’s what we will do. Peter to the rescue. I have a perfect plan!
“Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish; let us make three tabernacles: one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.
Talk about quenching the moment. Peter. Peter. Peter. Nerves get the best of ya? Your idea couldn’t wait? I can’t throw too many stones.
The awkward silence in a room can suck the peace right out of me. I then interject something awkward due to nervousness. So, I throw him a pass because, Hey, He’s trying. Just keepin momentum.
If you follow Peter’s walk this is a pretty regular thing. It was never a shock with Jesus. He knew Peter had a lot of growing to do. And growing was something He would become well acquainted with.
He was so self confident that He never dreamed He would deny The Lord. He did. In fact the very night He vehemently denied that denying Jesus would not ever happen.
A Time of Restoration
His story of restoration and the tenderness Jesus demonstrates would make a grown man cry. Why? Because who hasn’t blown it? Who hasn’t let their mouth override their butt? Who hasn’t over promised but under delivered. Failed the one they desperately wanted to please or at least impress.
In all of this, Peter denied that He knew him. His speech gave him away. It always does. Even a young teen age girl could tell. It’s impossible to know God intimately and your speech not give you away. A once opened heart doesn’t easily get squeezed back into a plastic cartridge. .
You can try but it keeps beating, it keeps pumping out blood and oxygen the essential things that keep you alive.
Tests may show hardening of the arteries due to neglect, but that can be repaired. This is spiritually where Peter was. Nothing changed in what God called him to do.
His cockiness did. Humbled by humility. His head betrayed his heart and He sobbed at the thought of where he had fallen.
Reaking with condemnation Peter is broken., Jesus says, Peter, Do you love me? Three times He asks Peter. Three times was the number of times Peter denied The Lord. Peter says, Lord, you know I love you.
Jesus then reinstates him by saying:
Feed my lambs. Tend my sheep.
In essence Jesus is telling him:
Be there for them Peter. Share your story with them. Let them know of my love. The depth my grace will go.
How I have always chosen, the weak, not the strong. The imperfect. The marred ones.
Why? So they will know it’s all me. That I always choose the most unlikely people and the most unlikely places to show up.
Why? Because no flesh shall glory in my presence.
Because, my grace is sufficient and my power is made perfect through weakness. I dwell in and through those weak places so dependence can occur. Self produces nothing but pride.
Pride and humility can not co-exist.
They cancel the other out. Peter’s pride purchased a place He thought he could never appreciate, but He did. A vulnerability that came out of that hard place.
A vulnerability that came out of that tough veneer. That brokenness created an openness He never thought He would experience. His broken life would now reach and teach other broken lives.
The Lord is always working something far deeper in us then we can imagine.
Broken hearts that are put back together with grace reflect illuminating light for others to see.
I’d love to know if you struggle with these issues. Leave me a comment below.