Saturday, July 11, 2009

Once a reed always a reed

I often hear people talking about how St Peter became stronger after his baptism in holy spirit and more decisive. Am not sure of this. His name was originally Simon which meant "reed." Seeing his tendency to be blown about by the wind, Jesus called him "Peter" which means a rock.

Preachers will note how Peter wimped out, warmed himself by the high priest's fire and then betrayed Jesus in the light of that same fire. Then they'll say: "BUT this same Peter, after Jesus' resurrection was brave enough to preach in the temple Beautiful. He had become strong."

Yet, Peter always seemed prone to wimping out whenever overwhelmed by others. Peter was the one who saw the vision of the sheet falling from heaven with unclean animals. He was the one specifically told in a vision: "What God has cleansed, call not thou unclean." Yet, even after that vision, he wimped out and started avoiding the gentile believers when the Judaizers arrived.

Jesus was born to be a sign spoken against. A strange thing for a Messiah to be. He was born to be doubted and rejected all his life. And although Peter believed that Jesus was whom He said he was, it still wasn't easy for Peter to stand up against the fear of man within himself. I suspect it makes his future martyrdom all the more brave. Who knows that at the very moment Peter was saying, "I will die for my Lord" he was also thinking, "Oh my God, people will think I'm silly and wrong for believing this."
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