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January 20, 2014, 10:33 AM

10 reasons why Peter is my favorite Bible character of all time. (you know, outside of Jesus...)

-- I will die for you Jesus, even if EVERYONE else does, I will never deny you!! - Matt 26: 33, 35 - its nice to see that Peter understands the situation.  Jesus has just told them plainly that he will be deserted; and Peter decides its his place (again) to argue with the Son of God. 

-- "The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table.  Simon Peter motioned (elbowed) to him to ask "who's he talking about?" - John 13: 23 -24.  This one makes me think that Peter has learned a little bit about keeping his mouth shut!  "Pssst John, YOU ask him who he's talking about! You're the disciple that Jesus loved after all..."  Anyone else wonder if Peter was assuming it was going to be him and that he was about to endure another "teachable moment?"

-- "A curse on me if I'm lying - I dont know the man." - Matt 26: 74.  He certainly takes his oaths very seriously.  Honestly, I may have actually thought less of him here if he didnt go all the way in and step knee deep in his own pride, arrogance, and short-sighted ego.  

-- "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."  - Matt 16: 16.  Even he gets it right once in a while!  What do they say about a dead clock?  Even it gets the time right twice a day?!  This statement from Peter, in the midst of a shifting culture concerning Jesus (from rabid support and acceptance to desertion and suspicion) is profound enough for Jesus to stamp our future on it.  

-- "They tax the people they have conquered."  - Matt 17: 26.  Doh!!!  It had just been asked if Jesus paid the temple tax... and Peter makes this statement about those who are taxed having been beaten and under control of the government!  How does Jesus reply?  He manifests a coin in the mouth of a fish and sends Peter out to get it.  Peter, just so you know, there is no power or authority greater than Jesus.  What was going through his mind as he dug a large coin out of the mouth of a fish?    

-- "How many times should I forgive someone?  Seven???"  - Matt 18: 21.  I like that Peter threw out a number, which I'm assuming he thought was a VERY generous amount of forgiveness.  I only wish I could have seen his face when Jesus drops the 490 on him.  "oh.........  ok."

-- He was a slow runner. - John 20: 3.  I cant blame him for this, but as one who has rarely outrun a speeding tortoise, this gives me hope.  (and way to not rub it in John..... oh wait, you put it in the NEW TESTAMENT that you run faster than Peter, nevermind).  

-- "I'm going fishing!"  - John 21: 3.  Again, I cant blame the man for this outburst...  he was locked up, scared to be arrested, afraid of pretty much everyone...  He runs back to what he knows, and thats fish.  I wonder if he was thinking about whats next? Meaning, do we just go back home now that he's gone?  The best part?  As soon as he comes up with his "plan" everyone else jumps on it!  "We'll come too!"  

-- "I shouldn't be doing this..... but since God sent me I'll come in." - Acts 10: 28 - 29 (my paraphrase).  Peter responds to God's call to go to Cornelius, but he cant leave it at just face value.  Before stepping foot inside, he tells everyone just how wrong it is for him to even be there!  Now, I know he followed God's call and that he baptized the entire house... but what message was he sending at that moment?  I'm betting there was a servant or two thinking: "thank you so much Peter for the reminder of just where we Gentiles stand with the loved and chosen Jews!"  

-- "who was I to stand in God's way?" - Acts 11: 17b.  Through it all, and every lesson learned, Peter finally gets his head around the mission and power of God manifested in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.  When he sees the house of Cornelius filled with the Spirit (prior to baptism, by the way...), there can be no denying.  This is a testimony of hope for hard hearts and the plain stupidity that fills those of us trying desperately to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and his disciples.  So often we are the ones standing in God's way, because we're making foolish decrees, swearing boldy about how great and right we are, or just trying so hard to blend into the world around us.  

Thank you Peter for giving this slow running, short-sighted fool hope!  

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