I always talk about how much I love Peter. He says exactly what’s on his mind to a fault and in my opinion seems to be the most vulnerable, mistake-filled, raw disciple in the Bible. I think that’s why I love him and why he resonates most with me. In every instance it seems that Peter meant well, yet in spite of that, he just found himself on the wrong side of his good intentions.
I get Peter because he resonates with me. I see myself making the same mistakes. I would be the one saying the wrong things, being loud and making everyone angry, doing what I shouldn’t…I am so guilty of doing that now.
In this season of my life though, John 21:21-22 really speaks to me. It says:
“When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
Think about this exchange for a second between Jesus and Peter. First let me point out the discussion is concerning “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, who reclined at Jesus’ side. But it is not merely the understanding of their relationship that Peter was concerned with.
What is happening here is a moment where Peter is inquiring about the call and purpose of someone else. He wants to know “what about that guy?”
Have you ever been there?
I can’t tell you how often I have looked at the purpose of another believer and desired it for myself. Like Peter, we forget our own place in God’s Kingdom because we are looking at what the Lord is doing with someone else. In the body, everyone wants to be the head but not the feet. But have you ever considered the importance of the “less significant” roles in God’s kingdom? I know there are countless churches who are able to do great things because they are gifted with people who support the higher profile ministry roles. Without those giftings, where would they be?
Think about the people who are not called to national platforms but just faithfully serve their local community with the love of Christ…never receiving an ounce of public recognition for their service. They are changing lives through the working of the Gospel.
Peter didn’t need to be the other disciple because he would be the one who arguably said the greatest confession of Christ in the bible: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), and that confession is the bedrock confession of our faith. Peter would also bring the Gospel to the Gentiles and proclaim it on the day of Pentecost.
Peter had his own role in God’s story and so do you and I.
We cannot lose sight that our purpose is exclusive to us. The hardest thing that we do as believers is die not just to self, but surrender our desires and even dreams to the Lord. To say in our own spirit, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” To remember that “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” This is one of the hardest things to do- lay our person down at the foot of the cross.
But in doing so friend, we become who we were called to be. Our own unique role comes forward that was purposed for us from our King. And in that role, we can glorify God in a way that we would not be able to do by trying to fit into another believer’s call. Our role was made for us and theirs for them. Each of us are given grace exclusively to fulfill and persevere in our roles and like Joseph, histories that impact those positions.
Like Peter and the rest of the disciples, we can turn the world upside down for God’s glory by living His purpose in our lives. Can you imagine what it would look like if we all did so? Can you imagine if we stopped worrying about another believer’s position and just moved forward in our own, becoming who we were actually called to be as believers?
So the question is, where are you called to be right now?
I know this, as a believer you have a unique group of people that you are called to affect with the Gospel. And those people…they are your ministry. We can reach them in ways others cannot. How can you be more faithful to that role for God’s glory? Let your prayer today be, “LORD, make my calling clear and strengthen me to walk in it for your honor and glory!”