Today’s Readings: Psalm 130; Nehemiah 12:27-31a, 42b-47; Matthew 16:13-20; Revelation 19:11-16
If you were establishing a group of people to carry on important work for you after you were gone, what sort of adjectives would you use to describe the individuals you would select to do so?
If you are like most people, you would pick individuals that could be described with words such as “loyal”, “dedicated”, “courageous”, and “bold”. It would make good sense to pick people like that since so much is riding on the selections.
When it came time for Jesus to choose a leader to carry on his efforts, Jesus’ picked someone who didn’t exactly fit those descriptors. In verse 18 of today’s reading from Matthew, we are told Jesus said: “You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church” (Matthew 16:18 from The Message). Through his selection of Peter, Jesus choose someone who did things like started to sink when he was called to step out onto the turbulent waters by Jesus; was rebuked by Jesus with the infamous, “Get behind thee Satan” when he refused to accept the way things were to unfold; and denied Jesus not once – not twice – but three times in the courtyard just hours before Jesus’ death!
Jesus chose a flawed human being with many weaknesses as well as many strengths. In other words, Jesus chose someone much like us. If Jesus can use someone like Peter to build his church upon, it makes me wonder what amazing things God might accomplish through you.
Today I would encourage you to resist your impulse to underestimate your ability to change the world. Instead, I would ask you to consider the transformative things God might work through you. Til next time…