Friday, March 18, 2016

Never say Never!

Peter could not see his own weakness! He really meant it when he claimed that would never let the Saviour down and deny Him. The problem was that he didn't have the strength in him to do what was right! 

The Lord Jesus had warned Peter that this situation would occur. Luke records this conversation in Luke 22:31-34. When Peter first met Jesus he not only had a change of heart but he received a change of name - Mark 3:16 records 'and Simon he surnamed Peter'. In Mark 14 Jesus reverts to calling Peter by his old name, Simon. Maybe this was because Peter was going to behave in line with his old character rather than acting out the new life he had received when he started to follow the Master. If you become a follower of Christ He will change your character for the better but there will be times when you still act as a sinner.  To be honest, when Peter had first met the Lord Jesus it had been a life changing experience - this is always the case when a person is confronted with the person and claims of Jesus Christ.

Another interesting thing about this incident is that the Lord Jesus addresses Peter as Simon twice i.e. Simon, Simon. Have a look through the Bible and you will note that when God is waking someone out of their slumber and attracting their attention he usually calls their name twice. I just wonder if God could be speaking to you and you have been ignoring Him to date!

One of the amazing details in this story is that Jesus knew the real source of Peter's trouble - it was the Devil himself (Satan). Satan's sole objective is to get people to disobey God and as a result to destroy God's plans and purposes. If you are believer Satan can never rob you of your salvation but his aim is to destroy your life, to rob you of the joy of salvation and to make you a pretty useless follow of Jesus. 

We are no match for the Devil so how are we going to cope? The answer is in this story - the Lord Jesus assures Peter that he has personally prayed for him. Isn't that wonderful. The Son of God prayed for Peter and He prays for us as well. Where do you get that from, I hear you say? Have a read of John 17 verses 15 & 20 and I think you will see that the Lord Jesus promised not only to pray for the disciples 'but for them also which shall believe on me through their word". The disciples preached the gospel, and some of them even wrote the New Testament, and down through the generations people like you and I have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as a result.  

Was Jesus' prayer answered? I mean Peter let Him down and denied Him so it looks like Jesus' prayer went unanswered! Well, I don't think so! The prayer the Saviour made was that Peter's faith wouldn't fail. The word for fail that is used here means 'to cease, to omit, to die'. Yes, Peter made a mistake and let the Saviour down but thank God that was temporary and not permanent! In fact the Lord Jesus anticipated Peter's recovery when he said 'and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren'. The Lord Jesus knew that Peter's denial was just temporary and that he would repent and be recovered and enjoy many years of loyal service for the Him.

So where are you in this discussion? Have ever trusted Jesus Christ to save your soul? If not pray and confess your sins and enjoy the forgiveness of sins. If you are a believer and have let him down, you too need to confess your sins and enjoy once again the joy of your salvation, Psalm 51:12.
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Mark 14:22-31
22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.
28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.
29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.
30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.
31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.


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