For Sunday, April 4, 2021
Resurrection of the Lord, Year B
The Apostle Peter was a passionate man. This sometimes got him in trouble, like when, in front of a charcoal fire, he denied Christ three times in a moment of abandonment and anger. Yet even though failing at that crucial moment, Jesus did not reject Peter, but rather, appearing to him personally after having been raised from the dead, restored Peter to leadership. Where? Again, in front of a charcoal fire (see the Gospel of John’s account). Can you imagine the gratitude and commitment this evoked in Peter’s heart?
Peter opens here by saying, “I truly understand that God shows no partiality.” This has a double meaning. On one level, Peter is thinking about Jews and Gentiles. He’s saying, “Now I get it. God wasn’t out just to save Israel. He was out to save every nation on earth!” That was a stupendous discovery! Yet on a deeper level isn’t it likely Peter was also thinking about himself? God doesn’t show partiality even to leaders that fail at crucial moments!
We live in a culture that wants to be lord of it’s own reality, but there is only one Lord “ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.” This is the best news any nation or person could ever receive. Forgiveness of sins is available. Healing from the devil’s oppression is available. Jesus Christ, Messiah, is the one about whom “all the prophets testify”. Because of what he accomplished on the cross, WE are acceptable to him, full stop.
NOW I get it!