Monday, November 9, 2009

The Story of Peter

Peter, next to Jesus, is my favorite person to read about in the Bible. His stories tell so much about his personality. For instance, you can read about him leaving everything behind to follow Jesus and think he's courageous. You can read about him walking on the water with Jesus and think he's bold. You can read about him rebuking Jesus and think he's arrogant. Or you can read about him denying Christ and think he's humiliated. Every story that I read about Peter seems to bring out another personality trait. One thing, however, always stands out to me -his passion.

I believe that Peter's passion is what Jesus knew would make him a great leader. In John 21:15-22, Jesus has two conversations with Peter that give clear direction for that passion. In the first conversation, Jesus asks Peter three different times if he loves Him and then tells him to feed and care for his sheep. Jesus seems to be reaffirming an earlier teaching he gave on what the greatest commandment is. In Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." Basically, Jesus is saying love me and love my people. When loving God becomes our first passion, then a natural overflow will be to love His people.

In the second conversation between Jesus and Peter in John 21, Jesus tells Peter to follow Him. At first glance it might seem that Jesus is just asking Peter to get up and leave from where they are. However, when Peter notices that John is following behind them and asks Jesus about it, we get clarification. Jesus, seemingly emphatic, tells Peter not to concern himself with John, and says, "You must follow me." It can be easy to get distracted by others when we're passionate. However, as leaders our priority has to be a passionate relationship with Jesus. Then all those that God allows us to lead will know that Christ is the Way---we will be loving God and loving His people.

No comments: