It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. 1 Peter 1:12(NIV).
Peter knew something that the angels didn’t. He had seen things, felt things, received THE thing that angels praise Jesus for but had personally never encountered. The angels don’t need redemption, don’t need salvation. They’re sinless beings who live with God the Trinity in heaven. When angels interact with us, they do so without being contaminated by our sins, so that they can stand blameless before God without needing a savior. Angels don’t need saving like people do, because angels haven’t committed the sins we have. Because angels aren’t human.
But angels aren’t made in the image of God Himself like humans are. Peter understood this; Peter was just a man. Peter had seen the ministry of Jesus up close and personal for over three years. He had laughed, cried, been angry, been joyous, been REAL with Jesus for that whole time. Peter had seen Jesus raise people from death, had walked on water to Jesus, had been with Jesus when Moses and Elijah appeared and he saw Jesus as He is seen in heaven. Peter had spoken with, touched, eaten with the risen Jesus on that first Easter. Peter was one of the twelve who had been personally touched by Holy Spirit when He arrived on the scene at Pentecost. And Peter was the man who raised the beggar from paralysis, who was beaten and imprisoned and freed by an angel; who confronted Saul after his conversion; who repeatedly confronted the Sanhedrin and refused to recant his faith or bow down.
And Peter still needed saving. Just like me. Just like you.
Peter was one of the people Jesus sent into the world – into our lives through their words and examples – to minister to strangers like us. Peter had met and seen angels, yet the angels weren’t sent to minister to the world. It was Peter (and John, Matthew, James, Paul, and the rest) who took the message of salvation from Jerusalem to every corner of the known world…and then beyond that. As a boy, the (likely) illiterate fisherman probably never dreamed his life would move along this trajectory, but it did. It did by the grace of Jesus. Like yours and mine.
Peter knew something that the angels didn’t. He knew, deep inside, the saving love and peace of his friend and savior, Jesus. He had experienced it in the presence of angels so he could share it in the presence of strangers. We know it too.
For further reading: Luke 24:49, 1 Peter 1:13
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your friend, Peter. Thank You, too, for the angels who ministered to him and to us, who do Your bidding then and now as You will.