He was “ready to go … To prison or death” with Jesus. But when things moved in a direction he hadn’t anticipated, and it looked like one of those two options was more likely than the other, he followed Jesus and his captors at a distance, anonymously – which didn’t work out very well. So frightened, he was that when faced with a servant girl, Peter was so scared that he felt he needed to lie – for fear of being hauled before the religious and civil authorities.
Fast-forward: seven weeks was it?
We have the man who had stammered out his denials in front of a handful of servants around a campfire, now in front of crowds; a preacher who doesn’t seem to care what anyone says or does to him. Bold. Fearless – or at least brave in the face of his fears.
In acts 2:36 Peter tells them: “…Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” We did not see that boldness coming.
What changed Peter?:
the empty tomb?
an amazing catch of fish (who actually counted those fish?)?
facing his failure and betrayal with Jesus
Jesus told the disciples that they would “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon [them, and would be]… witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Then he was taken up, out of their sight, with angelic assurance that he would return in the same way he went into heaven. (Acts 1:8-11)
In Jerusalem, in the upper room, they stayed together praying, waiting, I suppose for what Jesus had called “the promise of my Father … power from on high.”(Luke24:49)
Even before the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter was beginning to change. We see him starting to take leadership.
And then Pentecost came.
Let us think about
- the crucifixion
- the empty tomb
- the things that we know God is doing among us
- our failure and betrayal – our need for forgiveness
Let us meet together with Jesus and with believers praying, waiting…
His response: “I guess that it depends on how many sins you have…” left me wondering: I wonder whether Lent would be happier if you have few or many sins? On one hand, having many sins would lead me to have a more penitent lent, and having few would leave me with only light penitence. On the other hand, having many sins forgiven, I would have great gratitude.