Grace & Truth

The Rev. Emanuel Webb Hoggard

As we continue walking through the book of Acts, we see John and Peter walking toward the Temple in chapter three. This is their custom.

Does this not shock us a little? John and Peter are casually spending time together, now? Just days before, they were jockeying for position in Christ’s Kingdom.

Doesn’t this mirror the close relationships that you have seen? Those you are closest to are the ones who hurt you most. There are moments when the enemy whispers to you that you will never get over the hurt they caused. But, how many times have those close to you hurt you, and you got over it, you forgave, and until you think of it, you probably nearly forget.

John and Peter were business partners. That is where Jesus found them. Most scholars believe that when Jesus sent out the disciples two by two to do ministry, they went together.

John’s mama (I call her “Thunder” because John is a “son of Thunder,” and we know his dad is Zebedee, just a little humor) tells Jesus to make her boys sit at his right hand. I bet that was humiliating. Or, maybe John asked her to talk to Him.

At Jesus’ last night, John writes that he was reclining on Jesus’ chest. Peter motions for John to ask Jesus a question since he is “so close.” When they hear that Jesus has resurrected, they race each other to the tomb, and John points out that He wins.

It’s evident in the Gospels that John never leaves Jesus’ side through the crucifixion, and Peter denies and keeps his distance. When Jesus restores Peter to salvation, relationship, and ministry, He tells Peter tough days are coming for him. Peter, just like a spoiled brother, asks, “What about John!?”

These things took place days before they are walking to the Temple together. What changed? These brothers, with constant power-grabbing and jealousy, made a profound change.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, they now have a bigger destiny. Something greater has unified them. The Spirit of God has brought them to life, covered their sins, and called them to serve others. This is a miracle.

Now unified, they are walking together to the Temple. Because of this love, they recognize the needs of a lame man. The power given to them heals this man and draws a crowd. More than 2,000 people are saved because of these men working together to preach what Jesus has done. The destiny of thousands changed that day because these men matured beyond brotherly squabbles.

What hangs in the balance of your relationships? What’s God calling you to lay aside? No wonder Jesus said the world would know us by our love for one another.

Pastor Emanuel Webb Hoggard is Pastor at Askewville Assembly of God. He can be reached via email at pastorwebb@hotmail.com.

Thadd White is Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance and can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.