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A Moment of Truth for the Apostle Peter and Me

By Watchman | April 19, 2014

Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house.  But Peter followed at a distance.  Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.  And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”  But he denied Him, saying, “Woman I do not know Him.”  And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.”  But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”  Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”  But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!”  Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.  And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.  Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”  So Peter went out and wept bitterly.  (Luke 22: 54-62)

Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.  Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.  And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?”  But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away–for it was very large.  And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.  But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed.  You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He is risen!  He is not here.  See the place where they laid Him.  But go, tell His disciples–and Peter–that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”  (Mark 16: 1-7)

     Simon the fisherman, renamed Peter (Petros, the Rock) by Jesus Himself, appears to have been the first of the Apostles called to follow Christ, along with his small crew of James and his younger brother John.  For three years, He traveled with Jesus, learned of Him, loved Him.  Apparently somewhat more brash than the other disciples, Jesus several times rebuked Him for speaking from his emotions instead of from what he knew Jesus wanted of him; yet he also was the first to declare Jesus the Christ, and the only one to stand with Jesus as Jesus healed lepers for the first time (you know Peter had to be sweating that one out a bit, but his trust and commitment to Jesus held him in his place).  As one of what scholars like to call the “inner circle” (Peter, James and John) Peter was actually witness to the awesome and glorious transfiguration of Jesus on a mountain and to His conversation with Moses and Elijah.  He pledged his life to the living God, and promised to follow Him even unto death.  And then he blew it.

     He didn’t run from the Mount of Olives when Jesus was arrested, though most of the disciples scattered for the moment; he followed along so he could see what happened to Jesus.  But when push came to shove, Peter’s courage failed him, and he denied even knowing Jesus.  By saying he didn’t know Jesus, he denied Jesus’ kingship, His kingdom, His authority, His Godhood and His love.

     I’ve agreed with so many people who said they couldn’t understand Peter’s denial.  I’d hate to think I’d have denied Christ in the same situation, even if my life were on the line.  How cowardly!  And then I remembered….

I remembered the times God called me and I shut out His voice even though I knew who He was because I didn’t want to live the life God calls us to.

I remembered the times I deliberately chose sin over righteousness; telling myself I did things no worse than lots of other people.

I remembered the struggle for YEARS after being born again with anger and bitterness, though God dealt with me patiently over and over again about these sins.

I remembered all the times I had taken our Lord’s name in vain.

I remembered all the times I’ve known God wanted me to speak to someone about Him and pray with them, and I feared being called a religious freak, so I kept silent.

I remembered that MY sins drove those nails in Jesus’ wrists.

And the rooster crowed.

     Believe me, I know just how Peter felt.  I’m sure he believed there was no difference between him and Judas Iscariot.  And I’m certain that once Peter knew the tomb was empty that he believed it probably wouldn’t matter to him because Jesus would never want to look on his lying and unfaithful face ever again.  I’ve felt the same way.

     Can you imagine how Peter felt when the women came to tell him that they were instructed to tell the disciples–including him, by name even!–that Jesus was risen?  And when Jesus appeared to him and the others in the room where they were meeting, it was obvious that Jesus had forgiven him and loved him still!  And because Peter, instead of committing suicide like Judas, had come back to Him with a repentant, changed heart, the world was gifted with the greatest evangelist there has ever been.  Jesus later commissioned Peter to feed His sheep, and Peter followed Him without looking back…even unto his own crucifixion.

     Jesus has forgiven me all my sins, and taken me back when I’ve failed.  Like a loving Father, God is waiting for all of His children who are tired of sin and despair to repent of their sins and join His loving family. It is never too late.  You can have done nothing that God will not forgive if you will only repent and ask for His mercy and forgiveness.  Ask Peter…or me.

I pray that God will give me the courage to follow Him, listen to and obey Him, and serve Him, even unto death.

Maranatha!

Topics: A Special Word for Today, Just A Thought, Kingdom Living, Salvation, Special Seasons of Worship | 1 Comment »

One Response to “A Moment of Truth for the Apostle Peter and Me”

  1. Shirley Says:
    April 21st, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Even today, Peter gets gets picked on a lot by
    “The Pharisees”. I like what you said…”only repent and ask for His mercy and forgiveness and then added: ASK PETER OR ME.” I can only echo that with a sound Amen!

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