Today we spend a few minutes on Peter who was of course in Jesus’ inner circle with James and John. His name always appears first when listing the disciples, yet we know Peter was far from perfect.
The Story of Peter
As a leader of leaders, he was impetuous, rash, at times, even reckless.
Remember when Peter denied knowing Jesus? In Luke 22, Jesus tells Peter that He is praying for him that his faith will not fail. Remember Peter’s response? “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Then Jesus warns Peter that he will in fact deny him.
The Bravest of The Disciples
Peter is still one of the bravest of the disciples because he at least followed Jesus to the house of the high priest where Jesus was being questioned. But then came the accusations, “This man was with Jesus,” “He speaks like a Galilean.” Peter’s reaction wasn’t one of his greatest moments that’s for sure. In fact, the Bible tells us that Peter began cursing and swearing when he denied knowing Jesus.
Even well-intentioned disciples of Jesus are going to make mistakes and at times fail. It is part of the journey that Peter wrote about when he admonished believers to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. (II Peter 3:18). God uses these opportunities to teach us and to strengthen our walk with Him. His grace is sufficient in every area of our lives. His grace steps in, picks up the broken pieces of our lives and says, Try again. I love you. I chose you.
You Can Relate to Peter
Have you ever done something that made you feel ashamed and even shocked that you would ever fail in that way? Have you ever felt crushed in your spirit with no way to redeem yourself? That’s exactly how Peter felt.
But then grace stepped in. After Jesus was resurrected, he had breakfast with his disciples on Lake Tiberius. Jesus specifically directs a question to Peter, not once, not twice, but three times. “Peter, do you love me?” Each time Peter’s answer was the same. “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Each time Jesus responded, “Feed my sheep.”
Was Peter perfect? Far from it. Did Jesus still use him? Yes, and he can still use each of us with our faults and weaknesses. Paul said it so well, “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” (Romans 5:20)