“Simon, Simon, Satan asked to sift each of you like wheat. 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.” Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, even to die with you.” 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.”
Then Jesus moves on into more instructions and teachings to the crowds.
I wondered what Simon felt like after he was told that.
Did he just stand there shocked after hearing that?
Did he question Jesus?
Did get mad… what was his reaction?
It doesn’t look like his thoughts are recorded.
We can only guess.
What would I think?
If Jesus said to me… You think you are faithful and you love me
with everything inside you…but I know your heart
and I know you will fail a powerful test very soon.
What would I feel? What would I say to him?
Then to hear Jesus say “I have pleaded for your faith to be strong.”It’s a concept that cannot be fully grasped. Jesus pleading for Simon’s faith and our faith so we can be strong enough to withstand the attacks of the enemy.
Intercessory prayer for us from Jesus to the Father.
Satan wanted to take them down and Jesus said he pleaded… that is more than just prayer… it is an earnest prayer an intense powerful presentation of hope.
It also seems to be a prophecy of what was to come for Simon after the denial.
As we read further into the chapter it gives us the full report of how he did indeed deny Jesus.
vs 61. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter.
vs 62. And Peter left the courtyard weeping bitterly.
He realized that Jesus knew or heard or saw the denial.
Can you even imagine looking across the courtyard after saying, “NO I don’t know him” and then there is Jesus. Looking at you.
Simon was caught.
In the moment of denial when the pressure was on him. He rejected the one whom he passionately said he loved.
Your heart would hurt just as his did.
Simon wept bitterly because of a grief deep within him.
Lord, how could I do what I said I would not do?
I am sorry Lord. Forgive me… I don’t know my own heart.
I can’t believe I did what you said.
This was the repentance Jesus spoke of in the beginning.
Repenting and turning back to him so that Simon could be strength for the brothers later on.
When I read this it shows me how unstable we all are in our walk with God.
We may say…Lord I would die for you. But in reality would we?
One would hope so. But if the one who walked with him, talked with him, shared with him, ate with him, had a real friendship with him, could deny him not once but three times.
How can we be so confident in our own hearts?
I pray this to be a lesson for each of us.
That although we can fail the Lord miserably just as Simon did. He gives us a second chance. Later on he is given a powerful new name Peter and Jesus reinstates him into a position of leadership.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him,”Follow me!”
I pray that this brings encouragement.
Jesus does not give up on us even when we commit the most evil sin.
For Simon to deny him and then for Jesus to return to him and say… “Please take care of those left behind. I am entrusting you with a responsibility. Take care of the ones whom I love.”
It shows me, Love, Acceptance and forgiveness.
How thankful are we as people to serve a God who doesn’t give up on us.