Psalm 98; Isaiah 49:5–6; Acts 10:1–34
It’s not enough to restore a backslidden, rebellious, unloving, non-grace-filled, unjust people who either don’t acknowledge or hate God. On top of that, the whole world that doesn’t know God is going to look to you for the light of God. No pressure.
Or how about a valorous warrior, who lead 80 soldiers from the front, a Gentile (dirty to Jews) who followed the Jewish (dirty to Greeks) faith. A person used to pressure was visited by an angel. Military? Yes. Politics? Probably. Messenger of God?
Or how about a simple fisherman, who met this wandering carpenter, followed him, befriended him, deserted him, experience a transformative experience of his friend into the Son of God (and resurrected to boot), going from a simple follower to a leader of leaders of a new faith tradition, and then receive a vision overturning his entire dietary understanding and eventually his understanding of who Jesus died for (everyone).
You and I are not Isaiah, Cornelius, or Peter. We are not going to be written of in the Scriptures (they’re closed). Our dreams and visions may be remembered by the internet and perhaps friends and family. No one else. Not like Isaiah.
Some followers of Jesus may turn out to be very much like Cornelius, faith-filled followers of Jesus (eventually in Cornelius’ state) who are also valorous soldiers. However, having a personal meeting with an angle and meeting someone greater than any pope, archbishop, bishop? Probably not.
While most of us can see aspects of ourselves in Peter, his life is beyond ours. He physically walked with Jesus. He learned directly from Jesus. He met Jesus after the resurrection (embodied). Not going to measure up to that.
We’re not called to that. Maybe. What we are called to is a better and deeper relationship with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you’ve been baptized, it is hoped that you understood (if you were an adult) or were taught (if baptized as an infant or child) that baptism is God’s seal on you (from one perspective) and a public tying of you to the faith. Baptism is only supposed to be at the beginning of the journey. It isn’t the end.
As we look at Peter’s life, he was transformed day by day. He did not remain the same. That is truly one we can be like Peter.
- How have you changed since you first followed Jesus?
- What is the biggest part of you changing in submission to Jesus now?
Lord, change us into the followers you see us to be, rather than the ones we are. Amen.