Thursday, 21 February 2013

How did Christ manage to keep His cool?

One wonders what Christ was thinking when he assembled those 12 as his spiritual brethren. They were of course very ordinary people, but out of their ordinary were very strange characters. Among the 12 were aggressors, extremist, zealot, confused, doubtful, rebellious, notorious, unbelievers, fanatic, timid, impatient, traitor, denial etc.

Would you have such characters as friends? Would you invite such people for dinner and wash their feet? I bet you wouldn't invite them even to a breakfast which takes less time and effort to prepare. Yet these were the people Christ had as friends in his 3 years evangelism on earth.

They were mostly chosen by Christ himself. He taught and trained them how to "fish for men". Their training manual included topics such as forgiveness, prayer, miracles, healing, Holy Spirit, service, repentance, fellowship, humility.

Thier performances were mixed. Some were extraordinary good and others very poor though that's not the essence of this blog.

I want to single out one apostle i.e Peter, and imagine having such character as a family, friend or a church leader. You would probably have disowned Peter as a family, dumped him as friend and might have been suspended as a church leader.

 Peter, a man who Christ called him two names interchangeably (Simon, Peter, or Simon Peter), depending on what he had done or said. When he had behaved well Christ called him Peter, and when behaved badly, it was Simon. The apostle Peter was bold, outspoken and a dominant character which is good. But the man was also a double minded person. Peter often "put his foot in his mouth"- saying things without really thinking through the consequences. He was also sceptical and impatient person. Remember he was the first to announce that he was going back to fishing after the crucifixion of Christ (John 21:3). When it matter most Peter would disappoint as he did when he slept at the garden of Gethsemane when he was supposed to be praying with Jesus. He was often in trouble with Jesus over something he had said or done. He was rebuked more than any other disciple. He was the one who courageously confessed Christ as Messiah, yet Peter, was the one disciple Christ called Satan.

The worse of it all was Peter's denial of Christ. He assured his friends that he would never deny Christ, he denied him 3 times and with curses. Who would want a family or a friend who would deny you like that? Christ knew all that was going to happen yet remained with Peter. How would you handle a family or a friend who's sceptical, impatient, promises a lot and delivers little, and is always "putting his foot? Dump him or her you would say. Well, Christ didn't.

Despite Peter's inadequacies, failings and shame, he preached at Pentecost and three thousand people were saved (Acts 2:14-41). He became the Rock and great leader of the early church. Be careful who you dump in your life. It might be frustrating sometimes but people learn from their mistakes. Peter leaned a lot from his mistakes and failings. Have patience and keep praying for the person as Christ did for Peter and all other disciples. You never know.


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