ALIENS AND STRANGERS
"To you who believe, this stone is precious”
I Peter 2:7
There is no argument that the disciple Peter was rugged and strong, a man’s man as it were, and he may
have been more crude than not. Peter followed closely the One whom God sent, Jesus, who was a steadfast
and decisive leader. Jesus Himself threw over the tables of the money changers in the temple courtyard in
righteous rage. This was not the act of a weakling. In a masterful voice of thunder He called forth Lazarus
from the grip of death. He cast demons into swine from his authoritative being, and he challenged his
ridiculers without flinching. This was the person of the Son of God who Peter gave his life to, not someone
who chose the easy road or backed down in the face of adversity.
Yet Peter called his Master precious. He saw in his Savior the very qualities of a loving God, the radiance of
God’s glory, the exact likeness of God’s being. To walk as Jesus walked is not a prospect desirable to the
weak. To the humble yes, but not to the fainthearted. When Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Rock of our
salvation, there’s nothing soft and cuddly about that. Yet Peter still tells us that Jesus is precious.
Observe the rushing waters cascading over boulders in a mountain stream, ever thrashing downward,
carrying with them a plethora of leaves and grasses, twigs and logs, all the carnage it can uproot and
displace; relentlessly, quickly, commandingly. At the bottom, however, in empties into a pool of clear blue
water; refreshing, soothing, peaceful. Delightful little sparrows splash, gentle toads chirp,
and fishes meander in and out of gentle liquid pathways in their own private paradise.
Only those who truly belong to Jesus can even begin to comprehend the contrast which is his very essence.
No wonder Peter says we are aliens and strangers in this world (I Peter 2:11).
Those who haven’t given themselves to Him cannot possibly catch the vision, nor are they inclined to.
Looking directly into Jesus’ eyes, the rich young ruler was drawn into a realm of love and compassion which
was precious beyond anything he had ever experienced. He felt the all-consuming love,
and simultaneously the shame of his own sinful state hit him like a ton of bricks.
One day, when every soul will stand before Jesus, not a word will need to be said. Sinners will
instantaneously realize that they have not returned the love which was freely given to them. They will
instantly get the whole picture, bow their heads in remorse and unworthiness, and walk toward that great
abyss into eternal horror. Hell is so horrific that God, with back turned, cannot face it. Each and every soul
whom God has created was done so out of love. Rejecting that love is unforgivable. Those of us who have
accepted the great sacrifice of Jesus’ dying on the cross, borne out of love, will cling to that One who has
become so precious to us.