(1st & 2nd Peter)
I’m remembering the first few times I tried to read Peter’s letters. These letters are loaded so far down that I practically got a hernia trying at first…until some things happened, (1 Pet. 5:10) very much like a blessing he wrote in his first letter. Until those things began to happen, I could only notice three things about these writings.
1) I couldn’t believe this was the same guy we read about in the Gospels. Now I could relate to that other guy. One extreme to the other, strong will, weak character. Now you couldn’t have paid me to admit those things about myself at that time, ’cause at that time I wouldn’t have believed it, but I could sure spot them in him.
2) The next thing that got my attention without me even paying any attention was his constant mention of Jesus coming back. At least now I understand that the professionals came up with a name for this principle.
In other words…
“Be ready for Jesus to return any minute.”
That was the prevailing attitude among the early Church, so much so that we now think the early members in Jerusalem drove themselves broke from selling out of the marketplace and actually waiting for Jesus to come back “any minute.” Meanwhile, as a youngster or even as a young believer, I couldn’t yet see myself behaving as that scoffer Peter talked in his second letter…but Jesus’ return wasn’t more to me than that of some science-fiction movie that I wasn’t involved in…or interested in. There aren’t too many ways that kind of apathy and ignorance can change.
3) Peter sure talked about suffering a lot. And as soon as he got into “suffering wrongfully”…my, my, my…
The words would go into a blur, my mind would roam, I’d hear the phone ring even if I didn’t have one, or start remembering Jezebel again, the last visit to NYC, first day at grade school…
Something would always come up to divert my focus from those words that went against my strong will and weak character.
I’ll just tie it off there for now. I’ve presently got too many fences to mend. Meanwhile, as for me, I must say this experience with Simon Peter has been more proof positive to me that I never saw the light until I felt the heat first. Those things now being place, it has long since become a part of my vocabulary, this business of AWAITING HIS RETURN.