Simon Peter; April 10, 2023

Luke 24:33-34 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”

It was probably Don Francisco’s musical description of Peter’s encounter with the risen Jesus that implanted this most firmly in my mind, but at any rate, I have loved this story for a long time. That Jesus would meet personally with the one disciple who most vocally and publicly denied that he knew Him so expresses Jesus’ character! The first person He appeared to was Mary Magdalene, (John 20:10-18) who was not only a woman, she had been infested previously with seven demonic spirits. (Luke 8:2) It would seem that Peter was the second, and then these largely anonymous disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus is always interested in the little person, the downtrodden, those to whom the world wouldn’t give a second thought. That shouldn’t be surprising, when He told us that the Father even keeps track of how many hairs we have on our head! How neurotic would a person be to be caught up in that sort of thing about themselves? We have great difficulty grasping just how individually God cares about us. It seems to me to be analogous to naming all the ants in an anthill! Only God is big enough, powerful enough, loving enough to do that. As I have commented numbers of times before, He sees and accepts us as we are, but He doesn’t leave us as we are. He knows how we need to repent and change and grow, and He is always urging us in that direction. Peter was certainly transformed by his encounter with the risen Christ, but he still wasn’t perfected, and Paul had to call him down for hypocrisy at one point. (Galatians 2:11-14) That’s just one of many ways that Peter should be an example and an encouragement to us. God is always ready for us to make the course corrections we need to get back on track with Him, to manifest His power in and through our weakness, for our blessing and His glory.

This certainly applies to me! I feel like my experience of the Lord in November, 1972, though brief, was just about as dramatic as Peter’s mentioned here. Like Peter, I was transformed but not perfected. In the years since then the Lord has been incredibly patient with me, teaching me some lessons again and again until they were worked into me. Like Paul, I am very aware that perfection will only come when I am through with this body and fully present before my Lord. (1 Corinthians 13:12) He knows what He is working on, and what He has for me to do along the way. I am not to dismiss anyone as useless to God – including myself! I need to keep remembering the example of Peter, and act accordingly.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for yesterday and all it held, for speaking through me both at the sunrise service and here. Thank You for all the children who came for the Easter egg hunt, and for the many parents as well. I pray that what they heard and experienced would stay with them and bear rich fruit, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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