Follow His Example
“. . . an example for you to follow in His steps,” 1 Peter 2:21
Of all the disciples, Peter was the natural leader of the twelve, commanding the respect of his peers by the sheer force of his personality. Peter had enormous influence in the early church. He was by far the most powerful figure in the community of believers. His high-powered preaching, fierce prayer, fearless healing and wise council confirmed the trust they placed in him.
The way Peter handled himself in that position of power is even more impressive than the power itself. He stayed out of the spotlight, he led humbly, he didn’t throw his weight around, he was extremely careful and honorable in his submission to Jesus. He could have used his bold demeanor and personality to get the upper hand in leadership. He could have easily taken over and used the prominence of his association with Jesus to promote himself.
From what we know of the early stories of Peter, he had all the makings of a bully, and worse yet, a religious bully, which is the worst kind. The fact that he didn’t clobber, steamroll or trounce others, considering the frequency that spiritual leaders do just that today, is impressive. As a leader, Peter was a breath of fresh air.
Peter had followed in the steps of Jesus, and by doing so, had the qualities of Jesus – a willingness to embrace suffering rather than fame, a wisdom developed from experience not from a book, a tenderness that came from brokenness and a humble spirit.
In spite of all of Peter’s failings, the worst of him had not gotten the best of him. By following in the example of Jesus, Peter became a boldly confident servant of Jesus Christ. His life is a compelling example of what he writes to you and me in these verses.
Every disciple is called to follow in his steps.
Whose steps are you following in? Who’s following the example you are setting?