Reading 2 Peter chapter 1 again and again this morning. Wow. Peter knew his role. He had a measure of celebrity by the time this book was written but it never went to his head. You can see the focus in this book and chapter very clearly.
"Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." - 2 Peter 1:1-2 ESV
He saw everyone who believed as having equal standing.
"Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder," - 2 Peter 1:12-13 ESV
In essence he is saying, 'As long as I am around I am going to tell you about Jesus, what he has done and what He is doing. When you see me you will be reminded of Him.'
Do you think new Peter ever felt like old Simon? I am sure He did.
"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall." - 2 Peter 1:3-10 ESV
But Peter knew how to be put back in the flow so nearsightedness didn't shipwreck him. He had confirmation after confirmation that rebuked those feelings. His thought life of mixing faith with truth and learning to give Himself grace (because God was giving Him nothing but grace) gave Him a momentum to live in... a river that would take Him places not by His own power but by God's power.. an identity that was not self oriented but had a consciousness of belonging.. a role to play in people's lives.
Peter was elected into His present position. There can be a lot of theological baggage that comes with this term but let's just look at it in it's pure sense.
People's names are put on a ballot for mayor or some other office. There is a process and then one day the votes are counted and the person who 'wins' now holds the office. Ta Da... they are the new mayor. Yesterday they were not the mayor... today they are. It is written in the history books. The letterhead gets changed a new name placard with the new Mayor's name is placed on the Mayor's door. Even if they are not re-elected at some later date the person becomes the 'former Mayor'. They can never go back.
Peter knew His role. Yesterday He was a fisherman. Today he is a believer. God elected Him and that was it. He might feel like old Simon but He is not old Simon and never will be again. One decision caused Simon to turn a corner and become Peter forever. He can never be taken out of office. God elected Him and God does what He does and it lasts forever.
It is so good to have a way to not be self oriented any more. To live with Jesus as our focus. To bring Jesus into focus for others by being who God has made us to be.
"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain." - 1 Corinthians 15:10a ESV