Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) (Luke 9: 32-33 NIV)
I relate to Peter the difficult disciple. Apart from the fact that he had an early career at sea, I see so much of Peter in me. This is the man that dives in and often gets it badly wrong, despite living and walking alongside Jesus as His apprentice. When I read of some of his exploits it seems to me that Peter wanted to do the right thing. He just forgets to put his brain in gear before opening his mouth. The walk on water incident is a great example. Out of twelve disciples Peter was the only one stupid enough to climb out of the boat. The fact that he soon took his eyes off Jesus as fear replaced faith confirms that once again Peter had not thought about the consequences attached to his words.
We all know that a dramatic change took place after Peter received the Holy Spirit. The two Peters are barely recognisable as the same man. What we don’t really know is how much Peter continued to change after Pentecost. What we do know is that if there was thing Peter did not have it was a spiritual superiority complex, before or after Pentecost.
So here we all are a couple of thousand years later doing church in many different ways to the church that Jesus founded through Peter, few if any of which have much in common with that early church. We also need to ask how much we have in common with the early Christians who built the church, despite significant persecution. Has the penny really dropped concerning life in Christ? Have we had a Pentecost transformation? Do we pray enough, study God’s word enough, give Him the first place in our lives, honour others before ourselves? In short are we making a difference in the lives of others both inside and outside our churches? Perhaps the problem is that we have over-inflated opinions of just how we are progressing along our spiritual journeys? We think we have doctorates when in fact we are still toddling around tripping over obstacles in the nursery.
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity – all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. (Acts 2: 42-47 NLT)