Perhaps he shook his head in wonder. Everything he had ever thought or believed in had been turned upside down by Jesus. Men don’t walk on water. But Jesus showed him they could. Five loaves and two fishes are a nice meal for a young lad or two, but Jesus fed 5,000 with that meager meal. And had more left over when he was finished than when he began. The impossible was not the impossible with Jesus. It wasn’t even just possible. It was the norm. It was what was expected.
You just have to love impetuous Peter. At least I do. He tries so hard to be a person of faith. And frequently fails. Because his idea of faith is what he wants, not necessarily what God wants.
I find Peter’s life with Jesus’ an encouragement to my own spiritual walk. He reminds me that when I am surest about having a handle on the things of the spirit and God’s will, that that’s when I best check my leadings and make sure it is God’s voice I’m hearing and not my own. That is God’s side I’m on, not my own.
Perhaps Peter, while reflecting on Jesus’ words, found himself struggling with confusing his will with God’s? And wondering how he could learn to tell the difference between the two – between his interests and God’s. How could he determine if they were one and the same? Can anyone know the will of God? Or do you just have to act in faith and step out and try the path that seems good? But that’s hard to do when the Son of Man turns your notions of possible and impossible, power and poverty and everything else on their heads.
Repentance is a word we don’t bandy around much in our common lives. And yet we often put it into to practice in our relations with others. When we do something that hurts someone we love, we say we’re sorry and resolve to not do it again. We go a new direction with our behavior. And that’s what repentance is – turning a new direction. For Peter, and for many of us, it means turning from our direction (our will) to God’s direction (God’s will). Especially during those times of spiritual clarity in which we hear Jesus’ voice whispering down the Spirit wind, “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
His mind made up, Peter gave the rock one last kick, headed back into the crowd, threaded his way back next to Jesus side and set his face toward Jerusalem.