Flakey Peter

I find great comfort in Peter. He was rash and governed by his passions. If he wasn’t jumping out of his fishing boat into the lake (Matt. 14:22–33), he was rebuking his Lord (Matt. 16:22) and questioning Jesus’ knowledge of him (Matt. 26:30). Yet Jesus called him a rock when he was still so flakey (Matt. 16:17)!

One minute he is defending his Lord before a Roman cohort with his sword (John 18:11), and the next time we see him, he is turning away in fear from a young girl’s question (Matt. 26:69–75). But Christ didn’t give up on him. When Christ looked at Peter He saw the finished product. 

God had called Peter and was committed to changing him. Peter, an impetuous fisherman with a propensity for saying the wrong thing, a man who lacked any formal educational training, became a well-known apostle and Spirit-filled author. Christ saw who Peter would become through the Spirit’s transforming power.

The same is true throughout the ages. Christ doesn’t see me as I am today. He sees what He is making me into. He doesn’t choose any of us on the basis of who we are, but on who we will become through His work in our lives.

The book of 1 Peter was written about thirty years after Christ was crucified. Take a minute and think back thirty years from today—March 28, 1983. Think of all God has done in your life since then. And think of all God has done in the lives of others! Let’s learn to be women who see ourselves and others the way Jesus sees them—out beyond today.

Gutzon Borglum was the sculptor responsible for the stone sculptures of the four presidents at Mt. Rushmore. His housekeeper was quite a fan of his. She was taken to the site before the work began and then taken back after it was completed. When she saw his finished work, she said to him, “How did you know Mr. Lincoln was in that rock?”  Borglum could picture what that rock would become.

That is the way the Lord looks at us—as our sculptor. He sees His own image in us. We may feel rough and ugly and like we’re nothing at all to look at. But Christ is chipping away, polishing the rough spots, revealing more of Himself, transforming us into His image:

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).

He isn’t finished yet, so let’s be patient with ourselves and with each other. Who do you need to take the long-term approach with? Who will you be one year from now? Who will I be? Ten years? Thirty years? When Jesus is finished with me—with you? I can hardly wait!

Who do you need to love for who they will become through Christ’s transforming power? A friend? A family member? Yourself?


About the Author

Jani Ortlund

Jani Ortlund

Jani Ortlund is the Executive Vice President of Renewal Ministries. Serving Jesus through writing, speaking, and discipling are her chief passions in life. Jani and her husband Ray, Pastor of Immanuel Church, have four married children and fifteen grandchildren and … read more …

Join the Discussion