Faith for the ages - 12 October 2023
By Imogen Campbell
I wondered whether Peter would even have placed the day he walked on water with Jesus in the top three on his list of over-the-top faith experiences.
Peter’s impulsive nature had led to many an adventure or a giggle, along with some painful incidents, and without doubt he had some hair-raising stories to regale at the family dinner table. Surely, he reminded them of the day Jesus had come to visit and then rebuked his mother-in-law’s fever.
Miraculously, on more than one occasion he had seen thousands fed from the scrappiest of supplies, yet able to pick up basketfuls of leftovers. What about fulfilled prophecies or miraculous healings? No, his three years with Jesus were something else.
One day, he had confessed that Jesus was the Messiah. That day, Jesus told him that he would build his Church on Peter. On another occasion, he saw Jesus transfigured with Moses and Elijah, and offered to build them all booths. Seeing Jesus look like a ghost that night when they walked on water was nothing compared to that mountaintop experience.
Then it all went wrong. Jesus died. On that horrific night preceding Jesus’ crucifixion, he had seen Jesus heal poor Malchus after he, Peter, had taken an impulsive swing and lopped his ear off.
How his heart pounded as he made his way to the empty tomb, only to see the stone rolled away but no sign of the risen Messiah – scant consolation for his broken, confused heart that day. When they eventually saw him, he looked like a ghost. Who knew the Bible was so full of ghostly stories.
The thought of life as it was before Jesus became a real possibility for Peter, but then one day, on the boat, he heard that Jesus was ashore. In true Peter style, instead of removing his outer garments, he put it on and jumped into the water. A fish braai with Jesus awaited.
And what about his role in the original prison break of epic proportions when an angel broke Peter and the other apostles out of jail. Such were his exploits! A life well lived, wouldn’t you say. A life of an ordinary man with Jesus.
Prayer: Father, thank you for granting us all the opportunity to walk with Jesus. Like Peter, John and the rest, we can live normal lives but have a taste of the extraordinary because of faith in your Son. How amazing! Amen