“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”
JESUS AND THE ART OF DELEGATION
When Jesus delegated, he also picked great leaders, like the apostle Peter. After the Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples and Jesus ascended to heaven, Peter assumed the leadership of the growing sect, called “the Way.” In Peter’s inaugural speech he reinforced Jesus’s purpose, a message that both enthralled and comforted the crowd. After this message was delivered to a large crowd on his first day as leader, three thousand people converted to the Way. Each day more and more people joined, and Peter did a tremendous job recruiting and training this rapidly growing flock.
But wasn’t this the same Peter who abandoned Jesus numerous times? the same man who seemed never able to grasp Jesus’s message when Jesus walked the earth? the apostle who cowered in fear with the others during the dark three days of the Passion? In fact, as Jesus had predicted, Peter denied knowing him three times before the cock crowed in the early morning on the day of the Crucifixion.
Jesus saw this greatness in Peter when it wasn’t obvious.
Now Peter was the leader, the person convincing the masses of the rightness of Jesus’s way. A new way to live. A new way to thrive in the marketplace. Jesus saw this greatness in Peter when it wasn’t obvious.
A few years earlier, Jesus has said, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Now Peter finally understood why Jesus had called him “the Rock.”
Jesus had seen something in Peter. He changed his name from Simon to Peter. He announced that Peter would be the man to carry on his message. Yes, Jesus correctly predicted that Peter would deny him three times. He knew this, and still selected him.
“Jesus knew that Peter was human like the rest of us, but special like few.”
Jesus spent time teaching Peter in spite of a multitude of missteps on Peter’s part. He showed him how to move about the countryside. Peter learned that he could walk on water with faith. He learned that a few loaves of bread could feed thousands. Even though Peter failed many times, when it was his time, Jesus knew that Peter would be there. Jesus knew that Peter was human like the rest of us, but special like few. Jesus had delegated the mission of God to the right person.
Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman