February 1, 2022
1 Peter 1:1a NIV
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
Peter was not always Peter. We meet him first in his life as he was on his way to meet Jesus. It is hard to pinpoint the exact sequence of their first interactions. For what it’s worth, here’s how I see the sequence.
One day, in the midst of his baptizing, John the Baptist pointed two of his disciples to Jesus and they went after him. One of those two was Andrew. Then John tells us this:
The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. (John 1:41-42)
Sometimes you meet a person and they change your life forever. You don’t realize it at the time, usually only much later and in retrospect. You remember how that person was just like everyone else and yet they were different. There was something special about them. It wasn’t their “big” personality. It really was not the way you saw them—but the way they saw you. These people have a way of being themselves without being about themselves. Their presence conveys a capacity for seeing people, an almost limitless spaciousness for others. Don’t you love what Jesus said to Peter on this first meeting?
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
This is who Jesus is and what he’s like to be around. Something tells me this is who Peter became and what he was like to be with. And when Jesus is in you, that’s what you are like. This is who you are becoming. How do I know that? Because I know Jesus, and I know you want him to become the defining reality of your life. And I know when that happens, your presence takes on his likeness in a way only you can express.
Can you see Peter’s face? There’s a smile almost as big as the smile in his heart. Let’s close today with this famous scene. Maybe it was days, maybe weeks after that first meeting, and who knows how many more interactions they had in between.
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:16-18)
I’d say the miracle happened. It was quite the journey to get from there to here, but look how the fisherman opens his letter:
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, . . .
Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. We thank you for Peter and this confession, both historical and eternal; intimately personal and yet it unites us all. Lord, would you take us deep into your mind, through this fisherman, Peter, and his letters to us, your people. Holy Spirit, reveal the mystery of the Gospel in ways beyond our imagining. Awaken us to the claim and calling on our lives, on my life. Praying in Jesus’ name, Amen.
“These people have a way of being themselves without being about themselves. Their presence conveys a capacity for seeing people, an almost limitless spaciousness for others.” Who do you think of that meets this description in your past and present?
For the Awakening,