ACCORDING TO PETER
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
(Cross-references: Luke 5:1-11; John 1:42; Matthew 17:20; Acts 17:6)
Peter is speaking:
What was it in His words, company, and personhood that caused me to come away from each time with Him more bold, more courageous, and more capable of speaking? I was so content throwing my nets into the water and catching fish. I was never much to start with. No one could accuse me of being too smart for my own good. I knew two things well – the sea and the fish in it. But from that first day I met Him I felt drawn to follow, to trust, to throw my nets elsewhere and catch people instead of fish.
There was just something about being with Him. His eyes could pierce into mine and see through all my insecurities and failings into His grace in me – like that time when we tried so long and hard to catch even just some fish all night but we failed miserably and yet He said that we should cast down our nets out into the deep and when I did the nets had so much fish they almost broke. I felt so small and sinful and couldn’t believe this God would deign to be so near me, so I asked Him to leave. But instead of agreeing with me and leaving, He looked me straight in the eyes and said that I should not be afraid because from then on I would be catching men. His eyes and His heart saw something in me that I could not see.
People say I am so bold, so brave, so strong in my convictions and preaching of the Gospel. But it is really only because I have been in the company of The One who has emboldened me! He turned me from Simon into Peter. He named me. He called out my true self. And now that He is risen, I find myself still in His company as I pray. I see Him in His resurrected self – glorified and seated at the right hand of the Father and everything else seems to take their proper place. The human authorities diminish in their threats against us, my fears of people’s opinions and ridicule fade into the background of His glorious presence and kingdom-building. That’s why I say that if we whom they now call Christians are to be bold in our faith, then we should take care to spend more time with Jesus sitting at His feet, listening to Him, learning from Him, letting His life flow in and through us, so we can be more like Him.
Oh how bold His faith in the Father was, IS! He said that if we spoke to a mountain and told it to move, it would. Now people are saying about us that we have turned the world upside down everywhere we go. Well, if we have, I hope they come to see that we weak, perhaps simple-minded folks have gained boldness only because we have been with Jesus. So be it.
Writer’s Bio: Germaine Santos-Cochran was a 26-year full-time staff with Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ. She is currently figuring out what it means to be a full-time wife in a foreign country.