Peter (as in Peter, James and John) used to really bug me. I mean, where does he get off denying Jesus three TIMES? I know that if someone came up to me and asked if I knew Jesus, I would respond with an emphatic, “Heck, yes!” and then probably proceed with a lengthy, obnoxious dissertation about Him.
But I began to see more of myself in Peter one day when a friend suggested we can deny Jesus with our actions, too. Huh? I started thinking about the ways I daily deny knowing Him: gossiping, judging others, being unforgiving, being quick to anger, and putting myself first. Ouch! That hurts.
I don’t even want to know the pain it causes Christ when I deny Him. I think about how devastated Peter was when he realized what he had done. Luke says he “went outside and wept bitterly.” It seems like Peter’s story should have ended there, so we all could have learned our lesson about what happens when you deny Jesus. Instead, our Lord had a different plan for Peter: redemption.
Jesus came back to life after death and asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” to which Peter got to reply a hearty, “Heck, yes, Lord!” He is such a gracious God. I love that His redemption is there for me, too. After every sin I commit, Jesus offers forgiveness and the chance to say, “I love you,” again. Peter has now become a favorite disciple. Turns out that his beautiful story of “Loser Disciple Gets Grace” is also my own.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
– 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
“Jesus, thank You for Your amazing grace. Show me any words or actions in my life that deny You as Lord. Forgive me specifically for…”