Peter was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. He later became the Apostle Peter.
Nonetheless, Jesus had warned Peter that he was going to deny the Lord, but Peter would have none of such talk. He was convinced that he would never deny the Lord. So, Jesus told him plainly that on that evening, before the rooster crowed, that Peter would deny Jesus three times (Matt 26:34).
Judas (another of the twelve) betrayed Jesus, and he arranged for Jesus to be arrested, which then lead to Jesus’ false imprisonment, mock trial, beatings, and death (crucifixion on a cross as though he was a common criminal). And as Jesus had predicted, Peter denied Jesus three times.
Have you ever denied Jesus? Maybe you didn’t verbally, i.e., maybe you didn’t do what Peter did. You didn’t verbally declare that you don’t know Jesus. But do you know that we can deny him by our silence and by our actions? And do you know that if we are not obeying him, in practice, that it says that we don’t know him? (1 Jn 2:3-6)
For, if we make sin our practice, and if we don’t make righteousness our practice, and if we don’t walk in obedience to our Lord, but if we still live to the flesh, it says that we don’t know him, we don’t have eternal life in him, and we will die in our sins (Lu 9:23-26; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10).
But Peter’s denial was temporary. As soon as he realized what he had done, he repented of his sin. And you know what? There are probably going to be times in our lives when we deny Jesus, too. We will not speak up when we should, or we will back down when we shouldn’t. And if we do, we should then repent. We should turn away from that denial and now honor our Lord.
John 21:15-17 ESV
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
Jesus Christ, God the Son, died on that cross for our sins so that we could die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. In his death he bought us back for God so that we would now be God’s possession so that we would now honor God with our lives (1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20).
But Jesus didn’t remain dead. On the third day he was resurrected from the dead. And by faith in him we can be crucified with him in death to sin, and we can be resurrected with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
After he rose from the dead, he appeared to many people, including his 11 disciples (Judas was now dead). And this was one of the times in which Jesus appeared to some of his disciples who were out fishing. In fact, this was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
But do you know that even if we sometimes deny Jesus by our words or by our silence or by our actions that if we repent of our sins, and if we turn away from that denial to now honoring him as Lord, that he will restore us, and that he will even use us in ways we could never imagine? That is the beauty of God’s grace (1 Jn 2:1-2).
For, we serve a loving and forgiving God, but we also serve a righteous and holy and just God, too. And that is why Scripture teaches that if sin is what we practice that we will not inherit eternal life with God. But this doesn’t mean we will never sin or that we will never deny our Lord on occasion, but that sin should no longer be what rules our lives.
So, if you have failed your Lord at some point in your life, and you know that you denied him by your words, or by your silence, or by your actions, he is waiting for you to come to him in genuine godly sorrow which leads to repentance so that he can restore you, and so that he can use you for his glory.
The message Jesus spoke to Peter he is speaking to us all today. We won’t all be shepherds of God’s flock like Peter was, but we all have influence and voices and the ability to love others and to show them the way to salvation from sin and to encourage and strengthen the body of Christ in their faith and to warn against deception, too.
If we love our Lord, we will obey him. We will do what he says. We will live for him and not for ourselves, and we will do his will for our lives. We will love others with his love and we will share with them the word of God so that they can come to know our Lord in his fulness, too.
By Jonathan Foreman
…I give you my destiny
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it my all
So, I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope
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