Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Peter, Thomas and Paul - The Connection
Peter knew Jesus for about three years. He had heard Him teach and preach and had witnessed many of His miracles. Yet, at the most important time, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times.
How bad is that? Terrible you might say. God allowed it to happen.
But let us consider the alternative. When Jesus was arrested the crowd was ugly and distrustful of Christ. Some may have even been frightened of what was happening. Had Peter not denied Christ and claimed to have known Him as a follower the chances are he would have been arrested and hung from the nearest tree. The same fate would have awaited the other Disciples who fled.
So ... who would have built the Church after this?
God allowed the denial to happen so that Peter survived the original upheaval which followed Christ's arrest and Crucifixion. Peter and the Disciples had to survive to build the Church.
Thomas too knew Jesus well. Yet he disbelieved the Resurrection. Just as bad as Peter's denial, some might say.
As a result, Jesus appeared to the Disciples a second time and gave Thomas the chance to put his finger in the wounds of Christ. The event was witnessed by the other Disciples and recorded in history.
Unwittingly, by his action Thomas did us all a favour. Had he not doubted we would have lost a valuable piece of evidence of Christ's Resurrection. By doubting, Christ's re-appearance to the Disciples and what He said to Thomas has been recorded for us to read and believe.
Paul's job was easy. He had to seek out and persecute the early Christians. He witnessed and approved of Stephen's death and was eager to follow on with more arrests and deaths in order to stifle the Good News of Christ. Now how bad is that? And God allowed it to happen.
Yet God had other plans. He could use the energy and eagerness of such a zealot. There's no better spokesman for a cause than a person who has been converted. So God literally shook the man off his horse and made him blind in the process. The result, as they say, is history.
In all three cases God allowed bad to happen and turned it for the good.
A great reminder when things don't go so smoothly for us at times.