Spiritual Pushiness

Read: John 20

Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. (John 20:3-6, NLT)

You’ve got to give Peter credit—he was never one to hold back. John outran him to the tomb, but nervously stopped at the entrance to peek in. Not Peter! When he finally arrived, huffing and puffing, Peter, ignoring graveyard protocol, pushed past John right into the place where Jesus was buried.

Of course, the greatest part of this story is that Jesus wasn’t there! He had risen from the dead, the victor over death and sin, and now was alive forevermore. If Peter had found Jesus’ body still sealed behind the stone entrance of that tomb when they arrived, nothing else about this story would matter. But Jesus had risen, indeed, and that is why the other details of this story matter. Even small, seemingly insignificant details become both interesting and instructive—like Peter pressing in past John to witness the reality of the resurrection first hand.

Peter’s spiritual pushiness is what endeared him to Jesus. His personal deficiencies are well documented, of course; the entire world knows of them thanks to the Gospel writers. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John pulled no punches in their accounts of this braggadocios, foot-in-mouth, leap-before-you-look, speak-before you think disciple. Yet is was Peter’s reckless abandon when it came to spiritual expectancy that led Jesus to declare, “Peter, on your kind of faith, I am going to build this small team of disciples into a world-wide force called ‘the church’ that will take back Planet Earth from Satan and return it to its Rightful Owner.” (Matthew 16:18)

Sure, Peter got into trouble more than his fair share, but he was the only disciple to actually get out of the boat to walk on water—albeit a walk that was short-lived and ultimately very wet. He was the first to go into the tomb—Ground Zero of the Christian faith. And he was the first one called upon in Acts 2 to give the inaugural sermon of the Christian era—where two thousand people responded to his altar call.

Jesus loved Peter’s brassy boldness. That was the kind of raw material the Lord could work with. It was certainly raw, but it was ready. It didn’t take much to light a fire with Peter; he was a tinderbox waiting for combustion.

I think we could learn something from Peter’s example. Peter didn’t have it all together in his life, but he was always willing to offer all that he had, raw as it was, and press into Jesus with full expectancy of what could happen when raw readiness met with resurrection reality.

“Faith takes God without any ‘if’s.’” ~D.L. Moody

What If God Took Over?

Be Peter-like today in your journey with Jesus: a bit bold, daring to go so far as to be a little spiritually pushy. Chances are, you will encounter some resurrection power. Word has it that it’s still floating around out there.


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