Story: Peters Denial and Restoration
• Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75; John 21:15-17
Drawing from Matthew, At the last supper, Jesus was talking with his disciples when he told Peter he was going to deny him three times before the rooster crow the next morning. Peter swore that even if he had to die with Jesus he would not deny him. After Jesus’ arrest, he was approached by a servant girl who inquired if he was with Jesus and he denied it. Another servant girl approached him and asked the same, and under his own oath, he swore he never knew Jesus. Finally, the crowd now around him now suspected the same but Peter furiously denied it. It was at that moment the rooster crowed and Peter remembered what Jesus had told him, he left broken and weeping terribly.
It’s a hard pill to swallow to see Peter so beaten and broken down spiritually. This was the same man who was the first to proclaim Jesus was the son of God but could not bring himself to say it to a servant girl. Much like when Peter walked on water with Jesus he stood strong until he saw the storm around him, it was then he began to sink. Peter was scared, and he didn’t know where to go, his whole world just collapsed around him.
Going to John, we see this moment after Jesus’ resurrection where Jesus returns to Peter and the disciples and they ate together once more. Jesus then turned to Peter and asked him if he loved him to which Peter said yes. Jesus asked again, Peter said yes once more. Jesus asked a third and final time, Peter now upset still responded a third time that he loved him.
Sound familiar? Jesus restored Peter the same way he had been rejected with. Jesus wanted Peter to see that he still loved him and forgave him. Jesus also had commissioned Peter to love, feed and take care of his people, and he was not going to ever give up on him.
For us, we find ourselves constantly struggling in our sin, never sure if we could ever be forgiven by God. We forget so often that God loves us and will always forgive us no matter what, even when we mess up. In his forgiveness, it empowers us to do great things for God. As Peter truly lived up to his name following that story and became the foundation God set him out to be for the church.
Think back into this month, we talked about the Samaritan woman and the adulterous woman both of which were people nobody showed grace or forgiveness too. It was his kindness and forgiveness that brought them to him, without that grace or kindness they would have never been saved. But they became powerful people in Jesus and spread their testimony to the very places that once looked down on them. If he could do that with them imagine what Jesus could do with us.
The same forgiveness Jesus showed Peter, he shows to us and will restore in the wonderful love he has for us!
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103: 10-12