I’m not saying that we should all go out and try walking on water. But I am saying we need to get over this idea that because Jesus is the Son of God he can do everything and because we are not we can do nothing. In this story he seems to suggest that the same power and presence of God that was in him can be in us, not to the same degree perhaps but to some degree. [W]e may have more of God’s presence and power than we have dared to believe.
So let us remember that God has included us all! God is building us together to be a living temple, because Christ is our Living Cornerstone. So no matter what challenges, fears, and struggles we may feel right now, let us hear these words affirming who we are.
You don’t know this man, the one who gave you your name, the one who called you to come and follow? You don’t know the one you heard preach and teach, the one you saw help and heal? You don’t know the one who stilled the storm, or walked on the water, or fed the multitude? You don’t know the one you called the Messiah, the Son of the Living God? You don’t know the one who was transfigured on the mountain, whose face you saw shining like the sun? You don’t remember how the voice of God thundered from the cloud and said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” You don’t remember how he touched you, and helped you to your feet, and told you not to be afraid? That’s funny. But fear is a funny thing. It can do this to you. It can drive all knowledge of Jesus straight out of your head.
Yet “getting right with God” does not mean our soul work is done. It just means it has begun. The fact is you can be a believer and still be prejudiced in your treatment of others, hardened because of abuse you’ve suffered, and broken because people who should have loved you abandoned you instead. You can be baptized and still live with chronic fear and discouragement and doubt. The work of healing and transforming our souls is a massive project that requires a lifetime, maybe even an eternity.
[I]f we really believed what Jesus said I think we would lay hands on people all the time, everywhere, and pray for them every chance we could. I think we would pat on them, and hug them, and shake their hands, and every time we did we might pray that God’s healing power would somehow flow through us to them. We’re not faith healers, but we could be full of faith in Jesus, we could believe that somehow he could use us to get his work done on earth.
[T]here is something more powerful than broken dreams, disappointment and bad memories, and that is love. With God’s help, and quite frankly only with His help, can we invite those who have hurt us to chart a new course in our relationship. We can build a future based upon the mutual respect and trust needed to repair and restore a ruptured relationship.
Luke tells us that when Peter denied Jesus he went out “weeping bitterly.” But when he was flogged by the council he went out rejoicing, and even though he had been ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus, he found that he couldn’t stop talking about him. This is what I’m telling you: the power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that turned Peter into a fearless witness. It is both life-giving and life-changing. It is loose in the world, and available to us, and that’s good news.
We think about Paul so much in his Damascus Road experience, but maybe for many of us, Peter is a more instructive example because his life is continually going through these changes to become more like Jesus Christ.
Like Peter, we must tell the story with all that we have – all openness, honesty, and courage. We must say, as he said, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
“What’s it all about?” the crowd asked. “It’s the story about the crucified and resurrected Jesus,” Peter answered. A story that changes everything and calls you into a new community.
During his inaugural address, President Barack Obama quoted the Apostle Paul, but it was really a Peter moment.