Good Morning, Faith Family!
Easter is on my mind and this week and I found myself in the book of Luke right before Jesus was taken into custody. In these verses, Jesus is both addressing all the disciples and Peter singularly. Jesus knows that all will suffer because of Him and He also knows that Peter will be challenged sooner than he realizes. In Peter's beloved fashion, he responds with arrogance and pride, which is a sure sign that he is about to fall.
31 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." 33 But he said to Him, "Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death." 34 Then He said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know me." Luke 22:31-34 nkjv
There are a few things I find intriguing about these verses.
1. Jesus addresses Simon (Peter) by using his name two times. This is telling us that what Jesus is about to say is both personal and significant. 2. Both instances of the word 'you' in this verse are the plural versions, so Jesus is addressing all the disciples, not just Peter. 3. Satan asks Jesus to have the disciples -- meaning Satan does not have any power without Jesus' approval. 4. Satan wants to sift the disciples like wheat. Sifting wheat makes all the chaff fall away. He wants the disciples to fall away entirely.
1. Jesus says that He has prayed for Peter - in this verse, 'you' is singular. So, now Jesus is addressing Peter directly. Jesus knows that Peter is about to deny him and is especially at risk. 2. Even though Peter will deny Him three times, Jesus also assures Peter that he will return to Him. And when Peter returns, Jesus instructs him to turn to others and strengthen them in their faith. This is important later as we learn Peter's outcome.
1. Here Peter shows his arrogance and spouts out that he is ready to go to prison and even die for Jesus.
1. In this verse, Jesus tells Peter that he is going to deny Him three times. And after the third denial, the rooster will crow. Peter must have thought Jesus was crazy and that there was no way he would deny Jesus even one time.
In Luke 22:54-62 Peter proceeds to deny Jesus three times and when the rooster crows, Jesus looks at Peter. Peter immediately remembers what Jesus said, weeps bitterly and leaves. Peter's betrayal brings him to his knees in repentance. Later Jesus tenderly forgives Peter and it is a beautiful scene of how much Jesus loves Peter and vice-versa.
We can all apply these verses to our lives. We can be assured that Satan wants to sift each of us like wheat. He wants to see everyone blow away like chaff. He does his best to lead us astray...
Jesus prays for us. He knows this life is difficult and that our faith will falter. But He also knows that when we go through these trials, our faith will be strengthened on the other side. And when we get to the other side, we are to strengthen others as they falter.
Isn't this beautiful? Jesus prays for us in our failures and sin. He strengthens us through our trials and sin.
Jesus died for each of us and He loves us so extravagantly that He did not come down from the cross. Our sin nailed Him to the cross and in all of His perfectness and pain, He remained there and carried out the will of God.
If you are faltering in your faith right now, know that Jesus is praying for you. He is strengthening you. Won't you look to Jesus, soak in all of His love and turn back to him?