PETER DENIES JESUS
Psalm 23:3 “He restores my soul.”
Peter, a fisherman living in Capernaum, was strong in spirit and weak in flesh. Outspoken and headstrong, he remained committed to his cause.
Transformed by his time with Jesus, Peter gives up his career and home to follow and serve the Messiah.
Instead of casting his net for fish, Peter is called by God to be a fisher of men and give them life and freedom.
Jesus’ compassionate love for Peter warned him of the testing of his faith that he would soon face.
“But I have prayed for you, Peter, that you would stay faithful to me no matter what comes. Remember this: after you have turned back to me and have been restored, make it your life mission to strengthen the faith of your brothers.” (Luke 22:32)
Jesus prophesies that before the rooster crows, Peter will deny ever knowing him.
Bold and immovable, Peter reminds Jesus that he is ready. Ready to stand with him in prison and even in death.
He was proud to be His disciple.
When the hour had come when the religious leaders seized Jesus and led him away, Peter followed at a safe distance.
By a fire in the middle of a courtyard, a servant girl recognizes Peter and points him out.
Relying on his own authority, Peter denies Jesus.
A moment later, someone else spotted Peter and confessed knowing who he belonged to.
Doubting his strength, Peter denies Jesus.
An hour later, Peter is identified again as a disciple of Jesus.
Intimidated by fear, Peter denies Jesus and at the same moment, the rooster crows.
As Jesus is being led through the courtyard by his captors, he fixes his gaze upon Peter . All at once, Peter remembers the words Jesus had prophesied over him. In his immediate shame and guilt, Peter runs away from the crowd and weeps grievously.
A man who took pride in his strength was brought low by his weakness.
A man who was known for his unshakeable faith rejects the One who first established it.
But his story doesn’t end there.
Unlike his fellow disciple Judas who betrayed the Messiah, Peter does not remain in his shame and guilt. He is restored. He continues the ministry. Fulfilling Jesus’ words that after Peter turns back and is restored, he would make it his life mission to strengthen the faith of his brothers.
A man weak in faith, was called to strengthen others. Peter receives the forgiveness of sins and walks in the calling that Christ commanded him to.
Peter ended up writing many letters to encourage and strengthen his brothers. And he died for his faith. He became one of the most faithful disciples to bring about the ministry of the Gospel.
His story could have had a bitter end but because of Christ’s redemptive love, he was restored from shame to freedom.
The opposite of rejection is love. Peter’s lack of faith affected all of his perceptions, decisions and actions. He underestimated his weakness and feared for his own life.
Jesus saw Peter’s potential.
Love was the motivating factor.
Love knows potential.
Love is redemptive.
This is love.
~ Stefanie Rodriguez