Who We Are; Why It Matters

January 18, 2023

…for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NLT

Peter was an honest, transparent man. After he became a true Jesus follower with his whole heart, after he witnessed the resurrection and saw with his own eyes that Jesus was the alive and resurrected King, he saw himself with self-awareness and transparency. He is the person behind the words in the gospel of Mark. This is one of the four gospels where we see the flaws and failures of Peter in stark detail. As Peter dictated his eyewitness account to young Mark years later, I can imagine Mark saying to this great leader, "But Peter…are you sure you want to tell everyone about your betrayal? It’s not necessary. You don’t have to tell everything."

I can imagine aged, passionate Peter with his risk-taking, powerful personality not dimmed one bit responding. “It IS necessary to the story! I am the before-and-after testimony of Jesus’ power to change a man inside out! I’m not that man anymore. I have no secrets to hide, only a story to tell!”

That’s what Peter did with his life after the resurrection. Before he was bombastic Peter, all caught up in pushing for an earthly kingdom. Now he was a powerful preacher and witness to Jesus, the King with a new and forever kingdom that was not brought about by human might. He knew who he was now and why it mattered. He knew this was his lifetime calling. He lived and gave his life to this calling, even leaving this life by way of a cross, in the same manner as the Lord he followed. However, Peter followed so faithfully, he said he didn’t deserve to die like Jesus did, so they crucified him upside down. Can you imagine? Then with his last breath here, he was reunited with Jesus. He had followed all the way home.

Peter became the first leader of the early church. We have the eyewitness account he shared as the gospel of Mark, accounts of his ministry and life in the book of Acts, and then two letters written by him that have been saved over the centuries. In a variety of words, each of these contains Peter’s witness to who we are and why it matters. Despite our backgrounds and pasts, we are CHOSEN by Jesus. We are royal priests who intercede for others. We are a holy nation with Jesus as our King. We are God’s very own possession. Why does it matter? Because we have a special privilege and calling. God Himself has called us out of darkness into His wonderful light so that we can show others the goodness of God. Darkness is always dispelled, driven out by light. The reason we are here is to be the light of the world, the witness and welcome to the goodness of God.

• Jesus, help me live today clearly shining Your light, a vehicle of Your goodness to the world.