You know who one of my favorite Bible people is?
You gotta’ love him.
He’s one of the 12 people Jesus chose to live and travel and work with as part of his inner circle – his disciples – his world-changers. Pretty cool group to be a part of, right?
Peter. He was so passionate. Expressive. Emotional.
Not perfect. Not proper. Not the pretty box tied up with a pretty bow who has it all figured out.
Just think about this for a moment … that very first Easter weekend …
Peter uses his sword to cut off the right ear of one of the men who came to take Jesus away to be killed. Impulsive and intense, in dramatic and drastic defense of his friend and leader.
Yet when Jesus is arrested and things get rough, Peter abandons him publicly, adamantly denying that he knows Jesus, or that he is a disciple.
Perhaps afraid of what people might think of him?
He speaks before he thinks; he acts before he considers.
On a side note …
I even think Peter’s a bit out-of-shape…and that makes him even more real to me.
In John 20 it says, “So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.”
I think it’s funny that the foot race was even mentioned.
And even funnier…the writer of those words, John, was “the other disciple.” He probably didn’t want to make Peter look bad by declaring himself the winner of the race, do you think?
I can just see Peter arriving at the tomb after hearing from the women that Jesus’ body was gone. Huffing and puffing, bent over with his hands resting on his knees, red-faced– not wanting to miss a thing and wanting to tell everyone about it…once he caught his breath.
Back to our story …
After being raised from the dead, Jesus lovingly and mercifully asks Peter three times if he loves him.
This is the chance for Peter to move beyond his denials and guilt.
And three times he says, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Can’t you just hear the emotion that would have been in his voice? The humility, the embarrassment, the tears?
And in that moment, everything changes. All of Peter’s passion and commitment and desire to be who God wants him to be comes alive.
I get it.
Peter didn’t have his act together.
Jesus knew that.
He called him anyway.
I don’t have my act together.
Jesus knows that.
He calls me anyway.
You may not have your act together.
Jesus knows that.
He is calling you anyway.