As I’m writing this post I’m thinking about a time when I told one of the girls from church that she would never move in with me. She stayed with me for three summers.
So often when we say never we mean it at the time. And it’s usually in relation to something that we feel we are too good to do. That’s what got Peter in the Bible. He felt he was too good to ever deny Jesus. I mean after all he was one of the original disciples. He was close to Jesus and followed him pretty much from day one. How could he ever deny the man who told him he would be the rock upon which the church would be built? But that’s exactly what he did.
At a time when it was most crucial, the time when Jesus needed him the most, Peter decided to save himself rather than stand by Jesus’s side. I find it funny that Peter felt the need to preserve his reputation while Jesus was preparing to give His life for him. While Jesus was facing a trail inside Peter was facing his own sort of trial outside. He was confronted and asked if he knew Jesus not once but twice. One of those times was by a little girl who wouldn’t seem to imposing but when you are trying to save face anything can become an imposition.
Here’s the thing Jesus told Peter he would deny Him three times. What was Peter’s response? Not me, I would never do that. So when he did deny Jesus his heart sank. I can’t really fault Peter because I honestly don’t know how I would respond if my life was on the line. I hope I wouldn’t deny Jesus if faced with a life or death situation but I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that even in our denial Jesus still loves us.
Jesus met with Peter and asked him a simple question three times and gave him a command three times. “Simon, son of Jonah, 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 again a second time, Simon, son of Jonah, 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 a third time, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?…And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, Feed my sheep.” John 21:11-17
I think Jesus asked this of Peter three times not only to wash out the three times Peter denied Jesus but also to show us that no matter how far we think we’ve gone Jesus goes even further to bring us back to Him.