Remember Peter before Pentecost? He was a man who seemed to put his foot in his mouth on a regular basis. His words and actions careened between courage and fear. “Bid me come to you on the water, Lord,” he asked of Jesus. His water walk went fine until he saw the wind and waves, and then his confidence began to sink along with his body.
“You are the Christ,” he confessed when Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” When Jesus began to teach his disciples that he would die and three days rise again, Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked him. As his arrest neared, Jesus told his disciples that they would all desert him. “Not me,” said Peter. He then proceeded to deny he even knew the guy from Galilee.
The post-Pentecost Peter is quite different. In Acts 4:8-15, Luke notes that Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. He addresses the Jewish leaders who had him arrested for healing a crippled man in Jesus name. Now, Peter proclaims, “…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…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.”
What enabled Peter to go from wavering between blustery self confidence and self preserving cowardice? The answer is the Holy Spirit. Peter finally got what Jesus was all about.
In the Collect of the Day we ask that we may make the same bold confession that Peter made.
You revealed to the apostle Peter the blessed truth that your Son Jesus is the Christ. Strengthen us by the proclamation of this truth that we too may joyfully confess that there is salvation in no one else; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.