“…. not I, but Christ lives in me ….” ~ Galatians 2:20
Peter was one of the closest disciples of Jesus. He moved, lived, ate, walked and traveled with Jesus for about two years plus seeing spectacular things he would never forget. He saw the dead raised to life, his mother-in-law healed of fever, the blind regaining sight, the deaf and mute being healed, the crippled and lamed walking again, the lepers made clean, the demon possessed being delivered, the fish and bread multiplied, the storm being stilled and even hearing the voice of God from heaven acknowledging Jesus as God’s son. He saw an array of miracles and wonders performed right in front of eyes.
But the most heartwarming experience he probably had was the last time he saw Jesus after his denial. Resigning from the call of being a disciple of Jesus, he goes back to fishing, his former profession thinking that nothing good could ever happen now. He concluded that Jesus would not trust him again, that this chapter of his life is closed and life is back to where it was – the sea, the fishes and the nets. And that night when Peter goes back to fishing with other disciples, they catch nothing. At this juncture, Jesus, having resurrected appears before them. They obey his instruction and catch a hundred and fifty three fishes. Peter’s eyes are now opened. Recognizing Jesus, he hurriedly makes his way to the shore. Jesus invites them for a breakfast and gets talking to Peter. They have an interesting conversation and towards the end of it, and Jesus says, ‘Follow me’.
It wasn’t the first time he had heard Jesus saying this. But this time it was different. Jesus was now calling him not just to ‘follow’ him, but to ‘imitate’ him. And that’s what Peter did. He obeyed God’s call, gave up his own agenda and pursued what God had designed for him. Peter became one of the elders of the church, helped spread the teachings of Jesus and followed Jesus to such an extent that he even gave himself to be crucified upside down as history says. This call to ‘imitate’ Christ stands true for each of us even to this day. Knowing about Jesus is information, but imitating Him in our day to day life is transformation. Those who live transformed lives light up this dark world as stars in the night sky.
“Dear Jesus, You alone can transform me. Change me deep within. I want to let your light shine through me. Amen.”