And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?”
So they said, “Nothing.”
Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”
So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”
And He said to them, “It is enough.” Luke 22.31-38
Is there anyone who cannot relate to Peter?
I love Peter’s zeal. His boldness. His impulsiveness. His rough and tumble ways. But this time Peter was over-selling and Jesus, who knows all things, tells him something totally un-nerving.
Deny You, Lord? No possible way.
Simeon, or Simon, was his original name; his hometown was Bethsaida and he later lived in Capernaum. He was a married man. Peter, and his brother Andrew, were fishermen before they followed Jesus. He was an ordinary, minimally-educated man (Acts 4.13).
Jesus gave him a new name, Cephas meaning “rock” and translated in Greek as Petros and Peter in English (John 1.42). Peter’s name is always listed first on every listing of the twelve apostles (Matthew 10.2; Mark 3.16; Luke 6.14; and Acts 1.13).
Peter, along with James and John, were part of an inner-circle who were with Jesus on certain special occasions: the healing of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5.37); Jesus’ transfiguration (Luke 9.28); and Jesus’ prayer at the Mount of Olives as He gave His Olivet Discourse (Mark 13.3).
Peter was the first of the apostles to confess his belief that Jesus was the Messiah (Matthew 16.15-16).
Peter received rebuke from Jesus when he doubted Jesus’ declaration of His coming death (Mark 8.32-33). But, Jesus spoke of Peter as a key person He would use in the building of His church (Matthew 16.18-19).
Peter was in the garden of Gethsemane the night of Judas’ betrayal.
Peter did indeed deny his connection to Jesus, while standing in the courtyard of the high priest (Mark 14.66-72).
After hearing the news of Jesus’ resurrection, Peter was one of the first to go to the tomb (John 20.3-6).
After the Day of Pentecost, Peter emerged as the primary spokesman for the early Christians (chapters 1-12 of Acts).
Peter brought the Good News, The Way, to the Gentiles before anyone else did (Acts 10.1-48).
The Power of Restoration
Peter is an example to all of us of God’s grace and the power of restoration.
† Peter’s day of denial is upon us and I can relate to and feel his shame and self-disgust. He wanted so badly to be brave and present for his Messiah but his flesh fell and it fell hard. “Peter, I know how you felt. I’ve worn shame like that. I’ve experienced self-loathing when I’ve done something terribly not wrong. I’ve been afraid to go to Him and confess. But, because of you, Peter? I go to Him with a contrite heart and, without fail, He welcomes me. He restores my soul. And, He assures me of His unconditional love.” How do you relate to Peter?
*This devotion is from 40 Days of Lent, by Susan Chamberlain Shipe. Available on Amazon.