Luke 22: Building on Failure
Peter is one of my favorite people mentioned in the Bible. However, in Luke 22, he is told ahead of time by Jesus that he would deny Him three times, and then he actually does that later in the chapter.
Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Luk 22:33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
Luk 22:34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
I like what Jesus said to him. Satan wants you, but I have prayed for you. However, I don’t want your face to fall apart because when you return, you have a job. Your job is to strengthen your fellow Christians.
That word converted seems to be a little bit out of place given what we generally mean by conversion in Christianity. Conversion happens when you become a follower of Jesus Christ, and Peter clearly was already that. However, the word seems to carry the connotation of coming back.
That is exactly what Peter did. He did fall, and he had a weak moment. I think we can all identify with that. I know I have had moments where I don’t live up to my own standards, and if I can’t even do that all the time, there is no way that I can fulfill God’s standard of perfection all the time.
However, as we will see later when we read Acts, he became one of the most important figures in the early church. He strengthened many people, and he continues to do so through his example as we have recorded in Scripture.
In fact, even though Scripture does not tell us, church tradition speaks about Peter being crucified for his faith. He faced a similar challenge to what he did in Jerusalem on that night. He was killed for being a Christian. He did not deny it. He learned from his mistake, and even though it cost him his life, he knew that his higher responsibility was to follow Jesus Christ wherever that might lead.
I know it is easy to talk about Peter and talk about how great he was, and I do believe he was a great man. I think we can learn a lot from his transformation after he denied Jesus. He strengthened his fellow Christians, and he did that no matter what the cost.
He did what Jesus told him to do by not losing faith and persevering.