I have really been studying the Apostle Peter over the last several days. I have been moved by the marked transformation that occurs in Peter’s life. As you pick up Peter’s story in the end of the Gospels, you see Jesus tell him that he will deny Christ before the rooster crows. Peter does, then kind of disappears from the pages of scripture for a couple of days. Jesus has died, Peter is grieving and fishing, then as the angels show up on the scene, Peter becomes a hot topic again.
In Mark 16:7, “Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as He told you before He died!”
Then in John 21, Jesus appears to them in Galilee. And Jesus begins to clarify the mission of Peter’s new life…
John 21:15– “Feed my lambs;” Vs. 16– “Take care of my sheep;” Vs. 17– “Then feed my sheep.”
Literally turn the page to the book of Acts, and just within Chapter 1 and 2, you see Peter begin to lead the remaining disciples and speak to the crowds that saw over 3,000 people make the decision to become Christ followers in one sermon!
Talk about a 180˚ turn! Peter went from naysayer to billboard as to the saving power of Christ! Going from John 18:25, “I never knew the man named Jesus!” to Acts 2:21, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!” There is only one man that can give that kind of change, and that is Christ Himself––the leader of the church, the shepherd of the church, the head of the church – Jesus!
As I dive into the rest of my studies on Peter, I find a really loud theme that runs through his life …GRACE! To go from coward to proclaimer, denier to mouthpiece, from ashamed to leader, Peter’s 180˚ turn is solely attributed to the man he left, Jesus’ grace! Where do you need the grace of Jesus in your life? It is not about what you have done, but want Jesus did for you and I!
I leave with you with this thought from Philip Yancey, “I rejected the church (the representation of Christ in the world today) for a time because I found so little grace there. I returned because I found grace nowhere else.”
Hence, be the church that understands grace, desires grace, and gives grace! Be the church that… “Feed the lambs!” “Takes care of the sheep!” “Then feeds the sheep!” And watch the 180˚ happen in the people around you and you, yourself…Peter!