Who puts up with the most of your crap? Let me rephrase that. Do you have someone that is close to you that usually gets hit with your wrath first and/or the most? It could be your spouse, a child, parent, or a friend. I think we all have that someone in our life, whom we cherish very deeply, that puts up with the most of crap from us. I can have a crappy day and still be pleasant to strangers but when I get home unleash on the people that mean the most to me. I’m not proud of it, but I think it’s something we all do (or at least I hope I’m not the only one)!
Lately I’ve been thinking about Peter and his relationship with Christ. Peter was (along with his brother Andrew) described in the Gospels as the first Apostle. He was also one of three to accompany Christ up the mountain in the Transfiguration (Totally Righteous Dead Dudes). One could argue that Peter held a very special place with Christ. They were BFF’s.
With that being the case, Peter sure took a lot of crap during his time following Christ. In the story of Christ walking on water, Matthew describes Peter asking to be called to walk on water with Christ. As he starts to sink Jesus says ” You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Ouch!
In another section of Matthew, Jesus talks about going to Jerusalem and “suffering greatly…and be(ing) killed.” In what I can only imagine is concern for his friend, Peter replies with a warning. How does Christ respond to this heartfelt warning; “Get behind me, Satan!” Double OUCH!
For Better and Worse
It may seem like Peter was a whipping boy of sorts. However, in the same chapter of Matthew where he calls Peter Satan we hear Jesus make a statement to Peter that would define and shape the Church:
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
I think this explains why Peter endured what he did during his time with Christ. This is the reason he denies him three times, the reason he experiences Christs’ mercy and forgiveness, and why he seems to at the butt of some of His teachings. This was all to prepare him for being the foundation of the Church.
And What About You
So how about it? What about you? Who is your Peter? Someone who you consider to be your best friend and never gives up on you even though you have a tendency to take your frustrations out on them? You can’t give them the keys to heaven, but I’ll bet you can show them some other means of appreciation for always being there for you. Think of who that person (or persons) is and show them how much they mean to you.