|Mercy Street Church of Christ
Master, to whom shall we go? (John 6:68)
“I am weak and frail, my dearest Margaret, but I will not distrust God’s goodness. If I become so terrified that I am in danger of defecting, I shall remember Peter beginning to sink because his faith was weak, and I shall cry out to Christ as he did, ‘Lord, save me.’ I hope that he will stretch out his hand and take hold of me and not let me sink.
“But even if he lets me play Peter’s part to the full and reject him, I hope that he will look on me with mercy as he did on Peter and raise me up to profess the truth.
… With great hope and trust then, I shall give myself to God.”
These words come from a letter that Thomas More wrote to his daughter as he reflected on his likely execution by order of England’s King Henry VIII. Though More lived centuries after the apostle Peter, you can see how deeply Peter’s witness impressed him.
Who can blame him? Simon Peter may have been impetuous and cowardly at times, but you can’t deny that he loved Jesus deeply. We get a dramatic illustration of this love in the reading from John chapter 6, when he made a bold statement of faith. Many of Jesus’ followers were leaving him because of his teaching on the bread of life, but Peter just couldn’t do it. He was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, and he had no intention of walking away.
In one sense, Peter was being logical: where else could he go? Jesus was the only One whose words moved him, so it made sense to stay with him despite the teachings Peter couldn’t understand.
But in another sense, Peter was speaking from a conviction that went beyond human logic. His eyes had been opened, and his reason was being influenced with grace. He could have gone home and resumed his stable life as a fisherman, but he decided instead to take a big risk and throw his lot in with Jesus.
Both Thomas More and Simon Peter risked everything on the Lord. May their examples move us to make a similar calculation!
“Here I am, Lord. Take my life, and mold it into your image. Where else can I go?”
Acts 9:31-42; Psalm 116:12-17
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