Peter’s denials appear to be refining. Jesus was forming and transforming him, setting him apart for ministry. And Jesus does the same thing in our lives. The lessons learned in the school of hard knocks are fuel for the fire of discipleship…
15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter.
He replied, “I am not.”
18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself…
25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”
He denied it, saying, “I am not.”
26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow…
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
John 18:15-18, 25-27, 21:15-19
Peter was warned by the Lord that he would deny Jesus and it offended him deeply. He loved Jesus and was willing to give his life for the Lord. Then when Jesus was arrested, we see that Peter backed down from his conviction.
Jesus is our God of grace, however, and Jesus restored Peter for a life of ministry in founding the church. In fact, Peter did give his life for the Lord as a martyr. So why did he have to go through all this?
Peter’s denials appear to be refining. Jesus was forming and transforming him, setting him apart for ministry. And Jesus does the same thing in our lives.
As I have listened to testimonies in baptismal tanks over and over we often see that a person’s conviction to live for God comes out of a time in which they were not living for God. I don’t believe God is the author of our waywardness, yet I do believe that God intentionally does not save us from all waywardness because he knows the Peter principle.
God knows that the lessons learned in the school of hard knocks are fuel for the fire of discipleship.
In fact, we are so thankful that God is willing to restore us that we transform that thanksgiving into missional living…