Sunday, March 5, 2017

Luke 22:61-62 -- On Trust and Transformation

"And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
And Peter went out, and wept bitterly."
Luke 22:61-62

This verse is right after Peter has denied that he knew him the third time, and thus fulfilled the prophesy earlier in the evening.  The Peter that we see here is a very different Peter than we see Peter become later in the scriptures.  This Peter's world is shattered, and what he has trusted in for so long seems to be lost.  He did so many things because he trusted in Jesus as the Christ, but now that seems to be gone, and he's in crisis--not sure what to do, or how to stop it.  Later though, after Christ has been resurrected and returned, Peter transforms, and instead of just being an advocate, believer in, and supporter of Christ's teachings, he starts becoming like him... taking on his characteristics.  I think that this is part of what Alma is saying in Alma 5:14: "Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?"

To be clear, I'm not trying to knock Peter at all.  He was an amazing man, and stronger than I will likely ever be.  I think his story is instructive because it shows us so much growth, and it is a transition that I think maybe we all have to make in our lives.  We have to move beyond just praising God and believing that God can do anything, to believing that WE "can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth" us (Philippians 4:13).  That's a tough transition.  Although we have a lot of pride to believe that we know which way things should go, having faith in ourselves is different than, and mostly opposite to, pride--especially when we have to be humble enough to listen to God's plan instead of our own plan. :)

Peter learned that God was still there for him even when he wasn't physically present.  He learned that he could be powerful and lead and help and work to feed God's sheep, even without his Lord and mentor beside him.  He still worshipped and praised God, but now he worked and loved and spread the gospel further, not just as a follower, but as a leader of others.  Today, let's try working on that same transition.  Let's realize how powerful we can be as we work to do the Lord's will.  Let's talk to God and work to understand what he wants us to do to help feed his sheep.  Let's not deny our beliefs out of fear or shame.  Let's stand up for God, and share our hope and blessings with others.

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