In this passage, Peter offers his life for Jesus. Peter is trying to be the model disciple by offering to do what Jesus tells him a true friend would do (Lay down his life for his friends). But actions speak louder than words. Although Peter's heart is in the right place, he offers to do this great thing before he really understands exactly what that entails. And Jesus knows this. Jesus also knows that Peter will learn from his mistakes and will eventually do what he says he will do which is lay down his life for the Church.
The part of this passage that really speaks to me is where Jesus says that as his disciples, we should love one another as HE loves us. Now that is a tall order. Jesus died for us. He gave us his very life. Although, I am fairly sure I would sacrifice my own life to save the lives of my family members and close friends, I am not sure what I would do if I were asked to sacrifice my life to save someone whom I don't know. But I guess people do that everyday- soldiers, police officers, fire fighters, etc... I guess people like these really know the true meaning of love. And we are very blessed to have them in our lives.
So, what can I learn from Peter's mistakes? I should probably seek first to understand rather than to be understood. I should mean what I say and say what I mean. I should always remember that I have a lot of learning left to do. I should always be open to gaining knowledge and understanding. And I should always pray for courage.
But, I can't end here and not point out the one thing that I really admire about Peter. I admire his passion. Although Peter made many mistakes along the way, he did so with a passionate heart. I want that fire.