Peter—Do You Love Me?
Part 3 Continued from October 19th
REMEMBER THE LESSON PETER NEVER FORGOT
Each one of us at some point in our lives, will miserably fail the Lord by yielding to some temptation and sin. Soon after that sin we will hear (in one way or another) “the crowing of the cock.”
At that instant the accusing voice of Satan will ring in our minds, telling us that we are finished, we are useless, pleasing God is hopeless, and our future has been destroyed.
But that is never God’s message to us. As Peter learned, so we need to know. Our God is a forgiving God, a compassionate God, a God who loves us no matter what we have done.
Every time we open to the Gospel by Mark we remember that in one way or another, all of us too have stumbled. And for each of us, Peter’s triumph by God's grace is an incredible source of encouragement to trust in our God of the new beginning—and offer to Him our obedience prompted by love!
Jesus wanted Peter to know He has chosen the timing and the manner of our death (vv. 18-19). John 21:18-19 “Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
Peter was in it now for the long haul, and he never turned back. One of the earliest accounts of Peter’s death is by Eusebius who wrote a book entitled Ecclesiastical History. There he states that Peter was forced to first watch his own wife’s crucifixion and then as his time came he asked to be crucified upside down because of his unworthiness to die as Jesus died. Whatever may have happened at his death, one thing is certain—Peter loved Jesus Christ his Lord with all of his heart!
Jesus reminds Peter that we look forward to His Coming—not death! (vv. 20-24). John 21:20-24 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” 23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?” 24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
When Peter asks about John it was the old Peter resurfacing, curious and controlling. Christ's answer was so clear—God’s plan for each of us is unique and personal obedience is the key. We are not to be walking looking over our shoulders at others but as the writer of Hebrews says, we run with our eyes fixed on Jesus and not others!
I just love the note about John never dying; it is comforting to know that people garbled and gossiped even back then just like they still do. Other people may misunderstand God’s message and misinterpret what you are to do, but God wants each of us to follow Him with all of our heart and let His love cover our multitude of sins!
- Water and wine (2.1-11): Jesus controls quality; nothing in my life needs to stay empty.
- Nobleman’s son (4.46-54): Jesus controls distance; nothing is out of His range.
- Invalid healed (5.1-9): Jesus controls time; nothing is too far gone.
- Feeding 5000 (6.1-14): Jesus controls resources; no quantity impedes Him.
- Walking on water (6.16-21): Jesus controls nature; no force is too great for Him.
- Sight to blind man (9.1-7): Jesus controls misfortunes; no disability stymies Him.
- Lazarus raised (11): Jesus controls destiny; not even death defeats Him.
After three years of personal one-on-one training in Christ's presence, after all the absolute confirmations of Christ's power—Peter, the leader of the Twelve denies that he ever even knew Jesus. He becomes a complete failure. As we read earlier, after
PETER’S DARKEST HOUR
For most of us a failure that big, an event that public, would be the end. It was a scandal of epic proportions and it must have echoes around
But the lessons left for us are priceless. It is so wonderful to see what Jesus taught Peter in that darkest hour of his life. And if there are ever dark clouds in the days of our lives—we can remember like Peter remembered and like Peter have HOPE for a new beginning!
That is what we need to be reminded of; they are…
LESSONS PETER FORGOT
Luke carefully records the events in the courtyard of Caiaphas’ house. It was there that Peter waited for word about Jesus. It was also there in that place that Peter forgot what he had been taught by Jesus.
Peter forgot the old truths, he failed to practice them, and he failed miserably. Instead of not entering temptation, Peter was tempted and gave in and betrayed Christ three times before the cock crowed.
But the record of what happened to Peter is part of the profit of Scriptures. From Peter’s failure we can observe and glean doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.
This lesson will continue tomorrow October 21st when we start by looking at “The lessons we can learn from Peter.”
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