“…Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples…”
– Acts 1:15
Jesus, now risen and ascended, sent the Holy Spirit. The New Testament church was being established. God, through His providence, began organizing the foundation for His church. Through Peter, the Lord was setting up the right instruments to fulfill His purposes and plans. And what did God have to work with to fulfill these purposes? He had imperfect human beings. Spirit-filled men and women, yes! But very carnal and very flawed.
Peter was in a room of 120 people. Many of them he knew very well, like Jesus’ mother and Mary Magdelene. The other Apostles were present as well. Not only did Peter know them very well, but they also knew him. And, they knew he was the one that had recently denied Jesus three times. That denial came because Peter began following Jesus at a distance. “Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness,” writes Oswald Chambers, “but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different. Peter walked on water to go to Jesus, but he followed Him at a distance on dry land.”
The Apostle Peter, throughout his life that is shown to us in the Bible, was impulsive. He spouted off when he shouldn’t have and kept quiet about his love for the Lord when he should have spoken up. He rebuked our Savior when he said, “Not so, Lord!” and was scolded by our Savior when Jesus said, “get behind me!” Even through all of this, Jesus told Peter that he would be a pillar of the church. And, Peter was always included in the inner circle of Christ when the Bible tells us that Jesus took with Him “Peter, James, and John.”
Regardless of what Peter had done in the past, we know that Jesus restored him. He was now ready to fulfill his calling. Broken down and stripped of pride, Peter stood before this godly group of people and began sharing God’s Word. He was no longer the immature, impulsive Peter, he had grown in his spiritual walk with Jesus. He has now demonstrated maturity in Christ.
It is good to remember where we came from and what God pulled us out of. At the same time, however, we must not forget as Christ-followers we are redeemed and restored by the blood of Jesus Christ. One keeps you humble, and the other gives you hope! Walk today in that hope!
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
– Psalm 42:11