Friday night I attended a Sweet Sixteen party. (I remember why I’m not called to youth ministry, and I admire those who are brave enough to answer the call.)
Anyway–a question was posed that has been resounding in my brain. “If you could choose any Biblical character, one from the New Testament and one from the Old Testament, who would it be and why? And Jesus cannot be your answer.”
I can’t choose only one from each testament. It would be impossible. So, I’m beginning my first blog series, which of course will be intermingled with random Deneen-isms. And today I begin with Peter.
I choose Peter because, of all of his good and bad traits, he is the person to whom I can relate the best. When Peter is good, nothing can stop him. But when he’s not good…watch out.
Peter had a zeal for the Lord unlike any of his counterparts. He was the disciple who walked on water. He is the disciple who lopped off the guard’s ear when they came to take Jesus away in the Garden. He is the disciple who wanted Jesus to not only wash his feet, but his whole body, the entirety of his being. He’s the disciple who, in one breath declares Jesus the Christ, the Messiah and in the next few moment Jesus admonishes, “Get thee behind me Satan!” Peter declares his undying love and support for Jesus and then denies Him three times before the rooster crows.
In all honesty, all of the disciples, aside from John, abandon Jesus. But it is Peter that Jesus reinstates. It is Peter, on the day of Pentecost, who preaches a sermon that leads 3000 into the Kingdom. It is Peter that Jesus says His church is built upon.
Peter is hot-headed, loud, in-your-face. And though John declares himself the disciple that Jesus loves, I suspect it is Peter who you would invite to your party because he kept things interesting.
I constantly say inappropriate things at the worst of times. I’ve walked on water and then denied Jesus in the next breath. What I want, desire, long for in my life is to know Jesus more, for Him to clean my entire being, to be wholly His.
I want to do the “greater things than this.” I’m not satisfied with my life as it is at the moment. I want to daily live my life as the salt of the earth, showing Jesus to those with whom I come into contact, but I also want to preach a message that is so full of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and so empty of me that 3001 people come to know Jesus Christ. I want to pray for the sick and have Jesus heal them. I want to see the lame walk, the blind see, and the dead raised. I’m not satisfied with a mundane existence.