The Beautiful Restoration of Peter from His Shame ~ blog
One of the disciples who really understood shame was Peter. Sometimes the things he said were profound and sometimes just plain dumb. One profound moment was when Jesus asked His disciples “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Some of their answers were…
- John the Baptist
- One of the prophets
Then Peter says… “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” To which Jesus replied
“Blessed are you, Simon Barjona,
because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you,
but My Father who is in heaven.”
And Peter was feeling pretty good about himself. For once he said the right thing when normally, after speaking there was the distinct aftertaste of his foot in his mouth. But I digress…
However, Peter is true to form on the night of the Passover before Jesus is captured. They have eaten the meal and left the upper room heading to the garden. Jesus is trying to prepare them for what is going to happen after being in the garden of Gethsemane. And so, He says…
“You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
To which Peter replies…
“Even if they all fall away because of You, I will never fall away!”
Then Jesus tells Peter the bad news…
“Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows,
you will deny Me three times.”
But Peter is quick to reply and even if he has to die with Jesus, he will not deny Him. And I never noticed this before in Matthew 26…all the other disciples made the same promise.
After they get to the garden and Jesus yields Himself to the Father’s will He is captured and taken away.
That night Jesus was arrested and led away to Caiaphas and brought before the Council of 70…the Sanhedrin. Peter is following and even sat with the crowd at the proceedings and once the leaders hear Him, they proclaimed Him guilty of blaspheme and things get bad…
“Then they spit in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?”
Then the denials of Peter begin. First, a slave woman says to him that he was with Jesus and Peter replied with a lie saying he did not know what she was talking about.
He leaves the courtyard where Jesus was being abused…but going through the gateway another slave woman sees him and says to everyone around that Peter was one of the men who were with Jesus of Nazareth. To which Peter denies it and swears with an oath that he did not know the man Jesus.
A little later other bystanders accuse him of being one of Jesus’s followers and Peter says…
“Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the statement that Jesus had made: “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.”
Why do you think Peter went out and wept bitterly? Because he really meant it when he said he would never deny Jesus. Just like you and I mean it when we promise to God that we will never look at porn again. In the moments following a fall we taste the bitterness of our shame. We love the Lord and in moments of sanity we truly do love Him and yet we seem to still fail over and over again.
I love the final scene in John’s Gospel when Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him…three times. Each time erasing Peter’s failures and denials. They had been out fishing and Jesus prepares brunch for them on the shore. And when they realize it was Jesus…Peter is the only one to jump in the water to get to Him first.
Jesus is affirming to Peter that He loves him…still even after the denials. And I share this story with you today because it should be affirming to you that Jesus still loves you. Perhaps during holy week, you promised yourself that you would not look at porn or pleasure yourself sexually out of respect to Jesus. Maybe yesterday you fell or during the week you fell, and you are ashamed of yourself.
Any day and every day you have a fall back into sexual sin please understand that God’s love for you is unconditional. He still loves you and will always love you. Now that should never give us the license to sin. We still need to be fighting this battle against this addictive behavior. Keep fighting. Keep doing daily what Jesus has told us to do to maintain a solid walk with Him…being filled with and walking in the Spirit with the full armor of God on and connected to a fellowship of other men helping one another.