Oh, Peter, Peter, Peter. You’ve really made a mess of things for me lately. I’m really having a hard time dealing with you and your issues.
Let me explain.
So you go all tough guy, all “I can do anything through Him who gives me strength,” and say, “Jesus! Call me out on the water! Test my faith!” Mmhmm, show off for the rest of the disciples, huh? You can *totally* walk on water (eye roll.). Okay, so, maybe you can. Big whoop. It’s all going great until you take your eyes off Jesus for one second and start sinking. Ha. That’ll teach you to act all high and mighty. Bye Peter, nice knowing you. Jesus is so gonna laugh at you. But does he? Nooooo. He grabs your hand and pulls you out. He saves you. You! You of little faith! He totally rescues you. What the heck? He doesn’t even yell at you for it.
Next up? That whole rooster thing. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Jesus is on His way to the cross. To the cross! and some girl says, “Hey, aren’t you one of his friends?” You could have at least said, “Oh, well, we hung out a few times,” but no. You flat out reject Jesus. Cue the rooster. And then a group of guys asks you the same thing . . . “Never met the guy.” That rooster gets louder. Then there’s the servant who is so certain he saw you in the garden, and you’re all, “Dude, no way.” Dang that rooster is so annoying!
This would have been the perfect moment for Jesus to finally walk away from you. I mean, you swore you wouldn’t betray him. You swore to love Him forever and ever Amen, and You. Failed. Epically. Who wants to deal with a guy who’s all talk? Who loses it the minute things get tough? If I were Jesus, I would have given up on you. For sure. “Come on John, James, everyone. Peter’s totally lost it. You’ve been disqualified, Pete. See ya.”
At this point in reading your story, I’m totally confused. Even though Jesus could have totally turned the tables on you then, He could have just wiped you out for your betrayal, He didn’t. He still went to the cross for you, and that means that He forgave you. That means that even though you totally failed Him, He still loved you. Remember when He said you were the rock He’d build His church on? He made that promise knowing you would deny Him. But He kept that promise You are one of the founding father’s of the Church. You even have three books named after you in the Bible. It makes absolutely no sense at all.
So why is all of this making my life difficult right now?
Because I take my eyes of Jesus for a few seconds every day; I drown every day. Because I have turned my back on Him time and time again, because I fail epically, every day, and all I want is what I deserve. What you deserved. To be disqualified. To be rejected for someone who hasn’t failed. To be left behind. But you weren’t disqualified. The opposite happened in fact! And if Jesus forgave you for not having faith, and for turning your back on him, even after he warned you that you would, then that means . . . sigh . . . that means He forgives me too. That means that He loves me too. That means that the cross was as much for me as it was for you, and that means that His promises to me are still mine for the taking. That He has qualified me in spite of my failures. That’s not what I deserve. That’s not what anyone deserves. This grace thing is a hard pill to swallow. I guess it keeps us humble, right? Something like that . . .
So you see why I’m a little irritated by you right now, Peter? You of all people should have been an example of the wrath of God, justifying how I feel about my own sin and failures. Instead, you are a blazing example of His grace and mercy, for everyone. So now every time I feel like I deserve to be punished for something, you come to mind. You and all your failures, and Jesus and all of His grace and love for you. I guess that’s the truth about me now too. I guess I’m a blazing example of the grace of God. I guess we all are.