What?

Jimmy Fallon

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. “

Matthew 16:18 ESV

22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Matthew 16:22-23 ESV

I would love to sit down with Jesus one day and interview Him the casual and fun way that you see on the Tonight Show.  We could sit across from one another, him on the couch, and me at the desk.  If I had the chance, one thing I would love to ask Jesus about is the selection of Peter as the rock to build the Christian church upon.  This is how I think the conversation might go:

 

“So Jesus, let’s get down to it about Peter.  Great guy, lots of passion, but he really had a knack at sticking his foot in his mouth didn’t he?”

“Well, I guess he did, but there was something about Peter that stood out to me right away, He had a boldness, he went after things he was passionate about, He did what he thought was right with all of his being.”

“That’s great Jesus, but I have always wondered, why did you make him ‘the rock to build your church upon?’  You could have selected anyone, but you chose him.  Peter had a track record of saying things that were out of line, so much so that You corrected him firmly on more than on occasion.  I mean he almost drowned because he tried to walk on water, he betrayed you, and his list of less than perfect outcomes goes on.”

“My Father and I had selected Peter long before he ever knew anything about it, and we were confident in choosing Him.”

“I have no doubt you and your Father know best, but I mean starting the Christian Church, you only get one shot at that.  You had one chance to send out those who followed you after your ascension, and to share the Good News in a way that left a lasting impact.  Weren’t you afraid Peter would say or do something to make you or the Church look bad?  Like promise to change the world tomorrow, or promise to transform people’s lives or do something that would reflect poorly on you?”

“Peter was chosen very intentionally to be the rock.  Bill if you remember I once said, Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.(Matthew 7:13-14)”

 

“That’s very nice, I have memorized that verse before, where are you going with this?”

“I was not kidding when I said that, those who follow me should do it in such a way that causes people to stop and wonder, it should be unique and out there, it should make people ask, or stop and look.  Not in a narcissistic kind of way, but to draw attention to My Father and I.  Peter’s personality made him a great rock for my church.  Peter lived a life that was bold, his passions and beliefs were worn on his sleeve.  Peter made people stop and notice that he was different, not in a showy way, but in a genuine, authentic way.  Peter had no lack of flaws that people could see from a mile away, again reminding Him and others that the church does not rest on the backs of Charismatic leaders, but the Holy Spirit.”

“There you have it folks, the definitive interview with Jesus about the selection of the first leader of the Christian Church.”

Maybe it wouldn’t have sounded quite like that, but I find great encouragement as I read scripture, that Jesus selected a passionate, but flawed man in Peter to lead His Church.  It gives me Hope, and reminds me of the calling all Christ-followers have, to live in an authentic manner that reflects a dependence on God, and a radical obedience in following His commands.  So how might Jesus be calling you to live authentically and radically obediently as you follow Him?

 

Pastor Bill

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