31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me,for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
I'm very glad that the story of Peter's tragic failure is recorded for us in Scripture. I draw comfort from the fact that it happened. There's some very good news of hope in it for the rest of us imperfect followers of the Lord Jesus who like Peter often fail Him!
Have you ever failed the Lord Jesus? Have you ever, in some way, denied Him? It's a pretty stupid question, isn't it? Of course you have, more times than you would want to admit! And so have I.
Most of us start off strong in our walk with the Lord Jesus. Perhaps we we're so filled with a sense of gratitude for His forgiveness that we dedicate ourselves to a life of service to Him. We make a commitment with Jesus that is like Peter's, one that we are willing to die for Christ. And for a while, we serve Him sacrificially. But over time, our zeal for Him tends to die out. The desire for things this life can take over our attention, the expectations that others place on us become our aim, and when push comes to shove we might find ourselves either denying Jesus or only compartmentalizing our Christianity to certain times of the day or the week.
Peter's denial of the Lord is surely the most noteworthy example in the Bible of a follower of Jesus who failed Him miserably. But if we were honest, we'd admit that we have each one of us failed Him and denied Him again and again.
But tucked away in this story of Peter's failure is the good news that, in our Lord's kingdom, such failures do not ever have to be fatal.
After Jesus is risen He makes His way to the disciple and...
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
It's the Lord's will, of course, that we never fail Him. But even if you or I do failed Him or betray Him failure does not mean the end. Just like His death was not the end. Christ gives us a second (sometimes third or fourth) chance to prove our love toward Him.
Thank you Jesus!
I repent of the times that I have given you a half-hearted commitment.
I regret the times that I have chosen the things of this earth over you.
Forgive me for not standing up when others mocked you.
Forgive me for not speaking up when you wanted me to.
Help me to take a bold step to follow you and stand up for you no matter what.
Help me to not be afraid and to trust in you more.
In Your name. Amen.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”