Some of my favorite “Saints” are Christ’s disciples/apostles, saying that, which of the 12 disciples/apostles do you relate to the most, and why?
Peter is my favourite of the twelve disciples, this is because he was not a saint at the beginning, he did not start out as one; he was just an ordinary human being like me. Peter was a simple man, no pretensions. Honest, hard working, loved his family and his skin.
I have had a romance with this blustering Apostle of Christ since I was in my teens, somehow he appealed to me. He seemed like someone I could identify with. Also, Peter was to me a poster boy (man) for how the Holy Spirit could so completely transform a life.
I have always believed that even the only true, abiding and unconditional love EVER, is the love Christ has for us, which he in turn has commanded us to have for each other. One other thing I believe is that without the Holy Spirit, that love is absolutely impossible. The love which commands us to go the extra mile, give up the sole coat, turn the other cheek and not just for a loved one, but for anyone at all can only be spiritual. Peter embodied this.
Before the coming of the Holy Spirit, we see a man who is down to earth and straight forward but still has insight. When he followed Jesus, he left behind everything and just went with his master (Matthew 4:18-20). He loved deeply and showed a great concern for his family and showed that great love for his master still, when his own skin was threatened, self preservation reared its head and he denied that same master, not once but thrice! After Jesus died, the shame of what he did was probably too much for him to bear, maybe he felt he was no longer worthy to be a follower of Christ and so he went back to what he was before he met Christ. That happens to me a lot; still does in fact. I find myself fighting that feeling of unworthiness whenever I fall short of the standard I know the Lord has set. In the past, I would not even try, at least for a while. I’d just go back to who I was before Jesus. Or I tried to go back. One beautiful thing I love about my Lord Jesus is he does not allow his children to stray too far. He will bring them back! And that is what he did to Peter. First he called him back then he sent him his spirit to help him stay on course.
The story of the Pentecost portrays dramatically, the impact the Holy Spirit has in the life of a person. First Peter is seen hiding in a room then the Holy Spirit descends and he pushes off the Spirit of fear and acquires a new boldness! He steps up before the whole multitude of people and begins to speak! All of a sudden, Peter loses his fear. Peter who for fear of his life denied the one he loved; Peter who went into hiding after the death of his Lord… yes, that same Peter. And it was that same Peter who years later, counted it a privilege to be crucified just like his Lord – even if it was upside down. Peter.
The life of Peter has taught me that I can do great things for the Lord – little timid me. Because you see, it’s not by how strong I am (cos I’m not), or how clever I am (I’m not either), but by how available I am to the power of the Holy Spirit. And that is why Peter is my favourite saint in the Bible. He was not at all saintly; he was just human – like me – and just look what God did through him. There is hope for me after all.