But I’ve always seen Peter differently. To me, he is the one who dared—the one who loved Jesus so much that he couldn’t imagine himself denying him.
Yes, Jesus called Peter “ Satan” when Peter expressed the desire Jesus should not have to die. And Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times the night the soldiers came with Judas to capture and imprison him.
Peter was definitely emotional and impetuous. But he was so certain that Jesus was the Son of God that Jesus told him he would build his church upon that truth!
And Peter actually received an audible response from God. It happened when he saw Jesus being transfigured. Can you imagine seeing the face of Jesus beginning to shine like the sun and his clothes turning white as light? Peter was right there when it happened. He saw it. It must have been overwhelming. Immediately, he had an idea and spoke it. He was ready to go to work. He was ready to honor the sight before him as Moses and Elijah spoke with the Master. He wanted to build a tabernacle for each one of them! I can just see Peter overcome with the majesty before his eyes.
That’s when God spoke declaring that Jesus was His Son in whom He was well pleased and said to listen to Him.
And when Peter stepped out of the boat into the churning sea, many like to talk about the fact he became fearful and took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink. However, I’m amazed that he was the only one who stepped out of the boat. Let’s talk about the other disciples still sitting there watching the whole thing unfold. Peter was a doer! Peter stepped out in faith. As far as I know, Peter is the only human besides Jesus who walked on water.
We know God worked through Moses to part the water. We've read how Elisha, by the power of God, was able to bring an axe-head floating to the top of the water but Peter was the only one recorded in the Bible, besides Jesus, who got out there and walked on the liquid. He believed Jesus; simple as that.
So, the next time you hear someone speak about all of Peter’s faults, remember how Peter wept bitterly when he remembered the words of Jesus about how he would betray him. That’s the kind of heart he had about what he had done. What if we all had that kind of heart about the times we betray Jesus?
Remember how the other disciples stayed in the boat while Peter ventured to believe on Jesus. Remember how Peter ran to the tomb and found it empty but most of all, remember what Jesus said after conquering the grave. “Go tell the disciples and Peter I have risen.”
“And Peter.” He singled him out. The disciple that Jesus knew Satan desired to sift like wheat, He singled out for the greatest message ever given to mankind: He had risen.
So, do not tell me of the faults of Peter as though the fact He failed should encourage me. Tell me about the man anointed by the Holy Ghost who people desired just to have his shadow pass over them so they would be healed. Tell me about the one who dared to walk on water. Encourage me by reminding me that Jesus and God Himself responded to him. But most of all, remind me that Peter dared. He dared to be wrong in his enthusiasm to announce to Jesus that he would never betray him. (Do you notice that in the scriptures the other disciples agreed with Peter but ran and hid? Why is that scripture never brought up? Isn’t hiding out while your Master is being tortured a kind of betrayal too?) Peter dared to have ideas—maybe he missed the mark on some of them, such as building a tabernacle but he was willing to do something!
Maybe that’s why he got to hear from God.
Yes, Peter was emboldened after the Holy Spirit came upon them all in the upper room. I have no doubt he became even more daring after that great event! But to me, Peter was the one with the “chutzpah” to lay it all on the table from the very start.
I love how daring and emotional and willing he was. In fact, concerning my walk with Jesus, may I have more heart and dedication like Peter.
May I have the shameless audacity to say, “Lord, bid me come to you on the water.”