Eugene Peterson’s book Eat this Book teaches us to chew on a passage of scripture, digest it, and then put it to use in practical ways. Our early Christian fathers and mothers called this process Lectio Divina. These passages from the books of Luke and Acts depict the transformation of Peter.
FROM COWARD TO LEADER: THE TRANSFORMATION OF PETER
Luke 22: 54-60 (MSG); Acts 2:5-12 (NIV)
Arresting Jesus, they marched him off and took him into the house of the Chief Priest. Peter followed, but at a safe distance. In the middle of the courtyard some people had started a fire and were sitting around it, trying to keep warm. One of the serving maids sitting at the fire noticed him, then took a second look and said, “This man was with him!”
He denied it, “Woman, I don’t even know him.” A short time later, someone else noticed him and said, “You’re one of them.” But Peter denied it: “Man, I am not.” About an hour later, someone else spoke up, really adamant: “He’s got to have been with him! He’s got ‘Galilean’ written all over him.”
Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.
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Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. . . Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
I recently watched the TV series A.D., The Bible Continues. I was struck by the terror the disciples at Jesus’ crucifixion and especially after the ascension when they were left to go on with life without Jesus. They were afraid to leave their common room. They were afraid to be seen in the streets. They were afraid of anyone they didn’t know. Peter was trying to lead this motley crew, but he had his own fears. And then the Spirit came into their midst and life was never the same. Peter changes from a cowering liar to an empowered preacher. At the same time Paul was undergoing his own transformation. The two of them, enemies at first, became partners in the greatest revolution the world had ever seen.
♥ Look back at your life. Do you have an encounter with God that changed you? Share it with someone. Peter’s changed life helped change the world around him. So might yours!
♥ In Experiencing God, Henry T. Blackaby says that when God gives us an assignment, it is always God-sized. If the assignment we sense is something we know we can handle, it is probably not from God. It has to be God-sized that people watching know we can only accomplish it through God. Pray this week for a God-sized assignment.
MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“God is interested in the world’s coming to know him. The only way people will know what God is like is when they see Him at work. They know his nature when they see [it] expressed in his activity” (Henry T. Blackaby in Experiencing God).
image of Peter, played by Adam Levy, in A.D., The Bible Continues