Sunday, April 29, 2007

Quick Observation

I just started reading John 14 for encouragement, and for some reason, I wasn't able to concentrate on the beginning of the chapter. So, my gaze shifted to the verse immediately above 14:1, and I was so shocked/amused I began to laugh. It reads like this:

[Jesus to Peter]
"Jesus answered, 'Will you lay your life down for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times. Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.'"

How odd is that?! Jesus had just told Peter that he would deny Him three times, then Jesus said (effectively), "Don't worry!" How counter that is to human nature! I'm sure Peter was crestfallen, and yet, he was told to trust in God. Wow. That is absolutely incredible.

The implication is that God realizes the kind of pain we go through, and yet He tells us to simply trust in Him. At first glance, this would seem to be nothing more than a crass platitude. Yet, these words were spoken by the omniscient and immutable King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (Jer. 29:11). In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is recorded as giving Peter consolation (regarding the future) in spite of Jesus' awareness of Peter's imminent failure:

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (Matt. 22:31-32).

When Jesus said "when you have turned back," He implied that Peter would fall. Yet, He also prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail. Believe it or not, it didn't. Jesus knew this would be the case when He commanded Peter to strengthen his brothers (the Church) after returning.

Peter went on to be one of the boldest proclaimers of the Gospel this world has ever known. He went from the timid denier of Christ, to the rock that Jesus said He would build His church on. Peter went on to die a martyr's death on a cross, where he hung upside-down in order to avoid dishonoring the Lord in His death. What a remarkable transformation!


Post a Comment

<< Home