1 While they were still talking to the people the priests came up to them, accompanied by the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees.
2 They were extremely annoyed at their teaching the people the resurrection from the dead by proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus.
3 They arrested them, and, as it was already late, they kept them in prison till the next day.
4 But many of those who had listened to their message became believers; the total number of men had now risen to something like five thousand.
5 It happened that the next day the rulers, elders and scribes held a meeting in Jerusalem
6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, Jonathan, Alexander and all the members of the high-priestly families.
7 They made the prisoners stand in the middle and began to interrogate them, ‘By what power, and by whose name have you men done this?’
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed them, ‘Rulers of the people, and elders!
9 If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple and asking us how he was healed,
10 you must know, all of you, and the whole people of Israel, that it is by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, and God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man stands before you cured.
11 This is the stone which you, the builders, rejected but which has become the cornerstone. Only in him is there salvation;
12 for of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’
Peter seemed to always say the right thing at the right moment, remember when Christ asked them who people said he was and than who do you say I am, it was Peter who gave the right answer. Peter always seems to know what needs to be said and when, that is a sign of a good Sheppard, someone who knows how to lead, and when to lead.
Now we also know that Peter has more than once said the wrong thing, like denying Jesus three times and other such examples, but that too is a sigh of a good Sheppard, someone who knows how to lead.
Now let me explain that, because it seems like I am saying that when Peter messed up he was being a good leader, and in a way I am, but there is more too it that just messing up. It is what Peter did after he messed up that makes him a good leader. After Peter denied Jesus he ask for forgiveness, he humbled himself before Jesus, when Peter told Jesus he could not wash his feet, than found out that if he would not allow his feet to be washed he could not share in the life Jesus offered him, he than told Jesus to was all of him.
Peter is a complex person, one with many interesting facets, and it is because of this that I think most of us identify with Peter. But few of us truly understand him. Saint Peter was the first Pope, chosen by Jesus himself, yet Peter was one of the 12 that gave Jesus the most grief, according to the Gospels. Why would Jesus choose someone who questioned Him so much, who misunderstood so much? I am sure that there was at least one of the 12 who just went with the flow, never rocked the boat, why didn’t Jesus select him to be the first Pope?
Life is complex, as is Peter, and Jesus knows this. Peter may have asked a lot of questions and from time to time said a lot of stupid things. I am sure there where days when Jesus would look at Peter, shake his head and say to him ‘Peter, Peter, when will you get it!”. And Peter would just look at Jesus and say “What"? What did I say now?” a all the others would just laugh.
Peter and Jesus must have has a very special relationship, sure we all know that John was the beloved one, but I am sure that was because John was the youngest, just a mere boy, and I am sure Jesus felt a special bond, like a father/son or older brother type of relationship to John. But Jesus and Peter, that to me seems more like a best friends forever type of relationship. The image that comes to mind are the TV friendships in the sitcoms that we all love, Lavern and Shirley or Richey and the Fonz. You know what I mean, the two best friends that no one understands. That to me is Peter and Jesus. The others must have wondered why Jesus puts up with Peter, yet it seems that Peter was always the one the Jesus went to.
Life is complex, as is our faith as was the relationships that Jesus had with his friends. Peter was human, as was Jesus. But Jesus was also divine, and in being so Jesus saw the truth within our hearts, and with in Peters. Jesus knew that with every stupid question or statement Peter made, Peter was only trying to discover more, to understand and to please his good friend Jesus. Peter was not a class clown just looking for a laugh, nor was he a simpleton, no Peter was a completed person searching for the truth, much like us.
So sure Peter said silly things sometimes and did stupid things, but Peter also knew when to allow the Holy Spirit to work through him, as in the reading above. And I am sure after he said what he said, he would stop and thing, “Man, where did that come from?” just like we all would. Peter, the perfect first Pope, Peter the every-persons person.