“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”- 1 Peter 1:3
Peter had his ups and downs as a disciple of Christ. He’s known as the passionate, and sometimes presumptuous disciple. He was arrogant, bold, forward and didn’t always think before he acted.
- He jumped fully clothed into the Sea of Galilee. Jesus, after his resurrection, showed up on the Galilee shore. “Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.” (John 21:7 NIV)
- He assured Jesus that he would die with him, but shortly afterwards denied that he knew Christ. “But Peter declared, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And all the other disciples said the same.”( Matt. 26:35 NIV)
- He insisted that Jesus shouldn’t go to Jerusalem, only to have Jesus rebuke him, calling him Satan! “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’ Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’ “ (Matt. 16; 22-23 NIV)
- He cut off the ear of one of the soldiers who came to take Jesus away in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)” (John 18:10 NIV)
Peter lived big and sinned big. He got himself into messes that only Jesus could get him out of.
We read in Acts that after Jesus died and rose from the grave, God sent his Holy Spirit to fill his disciples with his power. Peter is a changed person. His boldness is tempered with wisdom. His forwardness is used to challenge the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. He becomes a primary leader in the young Christian church.
Peter starts his first letter with a reminder about God’s “great mercy” and our “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” No doubt, Peter was drawing from his own personal experience of receiving God’s mercy in light of his sin. Jesus’ great mercy is still available for us today so we can be born again to the same living hope as Peter.
Lord thank you for the great mercy and living hope we have as your children. Please work in our hearts, change us like you did Peter through the work of your Holy Spirit. We love you, and long to serve you with the passion and boldness of Peter.