Luke 22:31 – “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” 34 But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” (NLT)
Mistakes, bad judgment, or just doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons – we’ve all been there. Take heart, the greats of our faith have been there, too! In today’s reading, Peter (Simon) is being told by Jesus that he will deny Jesus three times. We are all familiar with the story of Peter’s denial. We are familiar with our own mistakes, and even with our own denials of Jesus. What is important for us is what Jesus told Peter in verse thirty-two: “So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
Jesus was matter of fact with Peter – “you will deny me.” He was also matter of fact about what Peter should do when he came to repent of his behavior. He was to use the experience to strengthen others. It’s been said that good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment. We should recognize our mistakes and bad judgment for what they are – opportunities to learn and grow, and opportunities to teach and strengthen others, as well.
We know that Peter did, indeed, go on to become a great leader of the early Christian faith. He wrote two letters in the New Testament that bear his name. Many biblical scholars also believe that he had a large part in the writing of the Gospel of Mark. Peter’s influence over the centuries has been profound. If we were to judge him on his early repeated denial of Jesus alone, we would not hold him in very high regard. God, however, redeemed Peter. God redeems us, and our actions, as well.
Today, let us learn from Jesus’ words to Peter. Let us learn from our mistakes and use those experiences to strengthen others.
Posted by Ramón Torres