His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” (John 13:22-24)

Impetuous Peter seemed always to be the first responder of Jesus’ disciples. He was generally the leading man, appearing to be the most eager, the most likely to speak up, the most likely to jump out of the boat, as well as the most likely to draw the sword and cut off an ear of the opposition! He would have been a wonderful 911 worker! I have to believe Jesus loved Peter’s zeal and passion even if it could be askewed! To his credit, Peter was right on target–some of the time! Consider his fine response to Jesus’ query regarding who the disciples said that He was:

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
(Matthew 16:13-20)

Then there were the other times when Peter’s star did not shine quite so brightly. Such as the time when he was thoroughly convinced that he would never betray his Master–insisting that he would never disown Him, even to the point of death.

It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. -Proverbs 19:2
It may not serve us well to be too over the top with zeal if we have a tendency to run ahead with our mouths!

Being the very impulsive type, I have no trouble relating to Peter. I can readily see myself jumping out of the boat to walk on water, as well as running like a chicken when the circumstances get frightening just to save my own skin. It is easy for me to think I can handle something–before the fire starts to sizzle and the temperature rises–then realize I am sorely out of my league! Let’s get real, apart from Christ I am always sorely out of my league. But I love the promise of Scripture given through the pen of Paul in Philippians, it breaths hope to my soul:

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

“Oh, how great peace and quietness would he possess who should cut off all vain anxiety and place all his confidence in God.” (Thomas a Kempis)

Take It to Heart

In our verses for today, the disciples were heartsick over the Lord’s news of betrayal and were certainly at a loss as to whom He could be referring. The disciples saw their Master troubled and they too were troubled. It is God’s desire for our hearts to break over the things that break His and rejoice over those things that bring Him joy.

Jesus wept over the lost in Jerusalem:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37)