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The Grace Project

Becoming An Him-Potent Person (Easter Meditation)

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 The Apostle Peter’s life offers us a mirror in which we can see the reflection of our own journey from “self-importance” to “recognising and accepting our impotence” and further to “recognising and becoming Him-potent”.  

We do well to remember that the Apostle Peter is, in fact, the only one of the Twelve to have denied the Lord.  Yet, what that failure does is the making, not the ruin, of Peter because death-to-self is the key to the Kingdom of God and Peter’s denial is, literally, his death and resurrection; a death which enabled him to be “born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible through the word of God which lives and abides forever.” [1 Pet. 1:23 NKJV]

 
In Peter, the Big Fisherman who becomes Christ’s fisher-of-men, we see that he moves through three phases of intimacy with the Lord.  He is called a friend, matured as a disciple and then, sent out as an apostle.  This is another way of expressing the three phases of the Christian life.  Notice that the entry level of the relationship is the friendship level.  Our relationship with the Lord is never task-orientated.  The tasks, when they arise, come out of relationship; they do not constitute or consummate the relationship.
 
 

Peter in 3-D

Simon

Child Phase 

A man under the Law

Friend of Christ

Simon-Peter

Teenager Phase  

A man in transition

Disciple of Christ

Peter

Father Phase   

A man under grace

Apostle of Christ

 
Peter is the most accessible of all the saints in the New Testament, isn’t he?  The Big Fisherman is wonderfully inappropriate.  Through his impetuosity, we’re provided with both the invaluable insights into the life of an apprentice and also the seminal lessons of faith.  Who else but Peter would have called out to Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” [Matt. 14:28]?  And who else but Peter would get out of the boat without further ado and walk on the water when Jesus simply says, “Come” [Matt. 14:29]?  But then, Peter shows us his humanity again when Matthew 14:30 tells us that “when [Peter] saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’”  These are the lessons we learn in the school of faith.  We will continue to die daily until we’re fixed in our death-to-self.  Fear is always the consequence of faith-in-self; when we see with the eyes of fear, we sink.  However, when we see with the single-eye of faith, we walk on the waters of this life and stand against the boisterous winds.  Yet, whether we sink or stand, the Lord is there; He’s always there.  He’s there not to save us from death but to save us in death and thus, resurrect us to His life.
 
As Peter is going down for the third time, “Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’”
[Matt. 14:31-33]
 
As his relationship with Jesus develops, Peter will lose none of his impetuousness.  God has simply wired him that way.  And as with each of our foibles, we should learn to celebrate and not reform them.  We are who we are and the Lord finds a way to express Himself through our real selves.
 
Peter is capable of moments of real spiritual clarity but at other times, he can be very rigid and slow to go deeper into the inner truths.  Jesus’ parables often leave him foxed.  “But Peter said to Him, ‘Explain the parable to us.’” [Matt. 15:15] is a typical Peter-ine response.  And yet, in the disturbing “eat my flesh” episode, Jesus has said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  Note that it’s Simon Peter, the Spiritual Teenager, who answers, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” [John 6:67-69].
 
Peter is both courageous and cowardly.  He’s courageous in his fearless declaration that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God [Matt. 16:16] to which Jesus replies, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah!  For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” [Matt. 16:17-19]; and yet, cowardly because after Jesus’ arrest, when Peter is confronted by one of the high priest’s servant girls who sees “Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, ‘You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.’  But he denied it, saying, ‘I neither know nor understand what you mean.’  And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed.  And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, ‘This man is one of them.’  But again he denied it.  And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, ‘Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.’  But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, ‘I do not know this man of whom you speak.’  And immediately the rooster crowed a second time.  And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.’  And he broke down and wept.”
[Mark 14:67-72]
 
 
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