“I really like Peter,” Paul said. “He’s a remarkable person. He worked with John Mark after Barnabas and helped him grow. During our time in Rome, while I was working on Colossians and he was working in the church, we had opportunities to talk.”
“You mean, while you were both in prison?“ I asked.
“For both of us, being in prison wasn’t the most important thing to talk about,” Paul said. “And, perhaps, that’s another thing that drew us together.”
He sipped his coffee. We were working early today, me reading, Paul praying. “But Peter and I had very different backgrounds. He was a fisherman, working in the family business. He was devoted to it. It wasn’t that he had no interest in spiritual matters. He grew up going to synagogue. His brother Andrew was a follower of John. When Andrew invited him to visit with Jesus, he went. When Jesus called him to follow, Peter followed. And he was all in his devotion.“
“Like you?” I asked.
“You know, I think he was,” Paul said. “Not with the careful training I had received, but we were both passionate people even before we came in contact with the resurrected Jesus.”
“But you had a different kind of preparation,” I said. “We’ve talked about it before.”
“But even after we met the resurrected Jesus, our ways of living were different,” Paul said. “Following Jesus doesn’t make you the same. Though I had been trained in Jerusalem, and could have fit very well in the spiritual culture, I was sent away. I travelled everywhere. From the time I met Jesus on, the longest I lived anywhere was three years. Usually, I was in a place for days or weeks. Peter, on the other hand, was from the country, from the northern edges of the Jewish people. Jesus leads him to the center, and Peter makes it home.”