Reading: Luke 22:31-34
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” [NASB1995®]
The Lord’s hour is getting closer and closer, and there is still something the Lord wants to tell them. There are difficult times coming for them. Times when they will be sifted like wheat.
Peter, listening to what the Lord says, makes a strong statement: “I am willing to go to jail, even to die for you.”
And the Lord announces to him: “Today you are going to deny me three times, before the rooster crows”. He basically tells Peter that he will not be able to keep that promise even for a few hours.
We who know the story know that the events occurred not as Peter said, but as the Lord had announced. Peter would deny the Lord three times that night, and weep bitterly for it.
Neither Peter, nor the other disciples, would be with the Lord in his suffering.
But just as we know that Peter denied the Lord, we know that afterwards he would dedicate the rest of his days to serving Jesus and proclaiming His Gospel, even to the point that, according to tradition, Peter would die because of Christ.
How is it possible that this very Peter who denied knowing Jesus then dedicates his life to serving him? How could he, in spite of everything, stand firm?
The key lies not in Peter’s determination, but in the grace of Jesus who had asked the Father that Peter’s faith would not fail.
What holds us firm in the time of trial is not our determination, but His mercy and the fact that we are His.
As the Lord Jesus said in John 10:27-29, no one can take us out of the Father’s hand. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39).
Peter trusted, perhaps, his conviction, which turned out to be weaker than he thought. But he learned that only by the hand of Christ he could stand firm.
MEDITATE: Knowing that we have been bought by the blood of Christ, that He has loved and saved us, and that He is the Eternal Rock, is our hope and trust. Thank God that we do not depend on ourselves, but on His grace.
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader