Peter the Apostle can be summed up in one word: sheep. He would often see himself as the leader, the person who would speak up when no one else would, the eager one, the excited one. But often, other people would see him as the fool who messed up, whose enthusiasm led him off a cliff. From rebuking Jesus to denying him, Peter constantly had his foot in his mouth.
However, Peter the sheep had a shepherd. Jesus guided him, gently leading him where he needed to go. He saw his potential and formed him into an incredible leader. He gave him authority and power. That’s where we find Peter in the reading from Acts 4. Peter, who once couldn’t open his mouth without causing problems, says this when he’s on trial:
“Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead – by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (verses 8-12).
Who is this? Is this the same disciple that Jesus once called Satan? Yes indeed! This is Peter the sheep, become a shepherd after the example of his Good Shepherd. And his story is our story. Though his beginnings were humble, he became a prominent leader of the early church. Though we also have humble beginnings, we too can become leaders. There are different ways to lead, but all of them begin with our faith in our Leader, Jesus. We are already sheep. Now it’s time for us to become shepherds.