I hope everyone’s New Year was pretty freaking awesome!! Mine was interesting. I started to go to church to hang out with some folk, but I stopped to get gas, and then my car wouldn’t start. Long story short, I either have a fuel pump or a fuel filter issue. Whenever that happens again, I have to bang on my fuel tank to get my car to start. I ended up just going home and ringing in the New Year alone, watching Skillet kill it online at WInterfest at LU. Not the ideal way to ring in the New Year, but it is what it is. It was pretty cool though, God directed me to some things I needed to see, which was pretty exciting. Now that the New Year is here, I’ve concluded that it’s time I stopped running and go back to my old church. I realized I had been behaving like a big baby and judging the church as a whole incorrectly. In order for me to see if this is where GOD wants me, then I need to see what the church is about outside of the small area of ministry I was solely focused on. I have no doubt God wants me to take a break from Youth Ministry for a bit, I need to see what else this church has to offer instead of just throwing up my hands and running away and giving up on people and, to some extent, myself. So, we’ll see what happens. It should be interesting
Time to get back to Conversations with Peter. We last left off with the call of the disciples, and we saw how Peter’s call, was similar to his commission. Christ said both times “follow ME”. This next section isn’t really a conversation, they’re little moments, snippets even, found in the gospels that only mention Peter. Why are the important, if there isn’t any deep conversation going on? Well, simple. Even moments have meaning. Maybe not to everyone, but to someone a moment that maybe overlooked by others, may mean a great deal to someone. So let’s take a look at a few of these “random” moments.
Moment #1: Matthew 8:14-17, 23-27
14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”[b]
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
You’re probably wondering what kind of meaning or even importance these two sections are. Mark and Luke only mention the calming of the storm, and John doesn’t even cover this event or the healing of Peter’s mother in law. But, I see an importance in both moments. In verses 14-16, we see Christ coming to Peter’s house and finding his Mother in law sick with a fever. “SCCREEECH”!!!! HOLD ON!!! MOTHER IN LAW!!! Yes, M.I.L. Peter was evidently married so that means he had a mother in law. That lived with him, or he with her. Ok, so big deal, he healed his mother in law. It is a big deal, because it would have been a very personal thing for Peter. The fact that she was living with him means he honored his mother in law, and quite possibly liked her as well, so he was probably worried and a bit stressed over the fact that she was ill. When Jesus came to his house and healed her with just a touch, it must have been proof for Peter that Jesus meant business and that He cared about the personal things. I love the mother in laws reaction upon being healed: She got up and served. Well, no doubt the word went out and sure enough, folks that needed healing showed up and Christ healed them.
At some point, the crowd must have grown and gotten a bit hard to handle, it was at this point that Jesus suggested they go across the lake, there’s a couple other interactions with others, but it’s what happens in the boat that strikes me as interesting. As they were going across the lake, Jesus must have been exhausted because HE fell asleep, and that ‘s when the storm came. It was so bad that even the experienced fisherman like Peter and Andrew and James and John probably panicked and ran and woke up Jesus to beg HIM to do something. He did. He calmed the storm, which amazed the disciples. Ok, so what do these two miracles have in relation to Peter? Well, I have no doubt that Peter was one of the first to run to wake up Jesus, he may have even been the spokesman, but what I find intriguing is that in both cases Christs actions were personal. In Peter’s MIL’s case, he touched, in the storm, HE spoke and rebuked; both the storm and the disciples. Both instances show’s Christ concern for both our physical and personal storms. As I said, Peter was probably worried about his MIL, and Jesus took care of it. In the Storm, Peter, as well as the rest of the disciples were worried about their personal safety…and Jesus took care of it. Bottom line, Jesus can handle our storms, whether they be a fever/sickness or a major storm where you feel like you’re about to wreck. His rebuke of the disciples isn’t an angry one, but a statement to them. He makes the same statement to us when we freak out about the storms in our life. I know HE was saying that to me when I had my little storm not so long ago. HE’s basically saying “why are you freaking out? Have faith, I GOT THIS!” I have to remember that constantly. HE’s got this!!
The third moment I want to take a look at is found in Luke 8:40-47
40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[c] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her,“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.
Again, Peter is only briefly mentioned here, but it’s important because he states the obvious. We might as well just call Peter Captain Obvious, because that seems to be his role in the gospels a lot of times. He states the obvious, but everything about CHRIST isn’t obvious. In this instance, Jesus is on HIS way to heal a synagogue leaders daughter and while on HIS way there a woman with a bleeding issue (she may have been anemic, but a lot of scholars believe that she suffered from heavy menstrual bleeding for 12 years. This is a big deal, because it would have made her unclean to enter the temple for worship.) decided she needed healing also, but didn’t want to bother Christ so only touched the hem of HIS garment. What happened? A miracle of course, she was healed. Now, let’s go on a bit of a rabbit trail for a moment. What healed her, she didn’t speak to Christ, she only touched the hem of HIS robe. Was it the robe? NO, of course not. It was her faith, she believed and took a chance, and it was honored. The really cool thing though, is that JESUS noticed it immediately and started asking “Who touched me?” Peter, in his role as CAPTAIN OBVIOUS basically says: “Uh, Jesus, there are a lot of people here and a lot of people are touching you.” Christ knew, however. Christ knew that someone, specifically that lady needed healing, I think it was more rhetorical than anything. He was giving her a chance to show her faith publicly as a testimony to HIS Power, and HE honored it. His words gave her hope and peace. I have no doubt, however, that Peter was left standing there mouth wide open catching flies. He’s seen Jesus heal his MIL, calm a storm, and then seemingly unknowingly, heal a woman just by having his hem touched. The day isn’t over for Peter though. If you read further into chapter 8, you see him get to witness Jesus raising a dead girl to life. Quite the day for Peter. Let’s take a step back though. How often do we state the obvious to Jesus? “UH, God, I don’t have a ministry”, “Uh, GOD, my relationships have failed”, “UH GOD, I’m struggling with…..” GOD Knows it. He’s right there with us, HE sees us dealing with it, and he’s saying to us:
1. I’ll heal
2. I”ll calm
3. I know you’re need even though you’re not speaking it.
4. GO in peace.
5. Most of all: HAVE FAITH.
Man, I’ve got to remember that. It’s a reminder for me for the next storm. To not freak out because GOD’s got this. God’s got you in whatever storm you have as well. Have faith. That’s all for this conversation. I can’t wait to see what GOD teaches me in the next one.