“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say. So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves.
‘What should we do with these men?’ they asked each other. ‘We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.’ So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John replied, ‘Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard'” (Acts 4:13-20, NLT).
I wrote something a while back about how Peter always gets a bad rap for taking his eyes of Jesus while he’s walking on the water and sinking. People point out how Jesus had to rescue him and rebuke him for his lack of faith.
Yet Peter remains one of the only two people in history to ever walk on water, with the other being Jesus Himself. At least Peter got out of the boat. The other 11 stayed behind.
Peter had a long history of good intentions mixed with some bad execution. I personally can relate to that quite well. He’s the one who made the profession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, only to turn around and try to rebuke the Messiah later in the same conversation.
What I love about Peter is that he never quit. Even after so many embarrassing failures and foot-in-mouth incidents, he kept going. Eventually, he kept his zeal and enthusiasm, but added some wisdom to it.
That same apostle who denied Jesus three times is the same one who preached the Pentecost sermon that saw 3,000 saved. He’s the one who stated that he wouldn’t (and couldn’t) stop talking about how Jesus changed his life. They could beat him, stone him, jail him, and even kill him, but nothing would deter him from sharing the Gospel.
That same apostle ended up (according to tradition) being crucified upside down for his faith because he felt he was unworthy to be killed in the same manner as his Lord. He kept his word and was faithful even unto death.
What made the difference? What made people sit up and take notice when he opened his mouth to proclaim the gospel? It was the time spent with Jesus.
I’m thankful that God still uses people like Peter. God isn’t looking for the best-looking or the most gifted or the most gregarious. What he wants are people who are available and surrendered. He can use the least and the lowliest.
What He wants is you and me.