We try to be perfect, but that is impossible. Peter found out the hard way. Though he watched Jesus perform miracles, when a crisis occurred, Peter fell short. We may too.
When that happens, what does the Bible teach about restoration? Let’s look at Peter’s story for instruction.
Initially, Peter was willing to leave behind the familiar to follow Jesus in a new direction (Matthew 4:18). Peter came from an ordinary working-class background. Because Peter was teachable, Jesus elevated him to leadership.
Peter witnessed Jesus healing the demon-possessed, giving the blind sight, and feeding thousands. Seeing these amazing feats fueled Peter’s courage, even after Jesus’ arrest in Gethsemane. “Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest” (Mark 14:54 NIV).
Even though a common fisherman, Peter braved the high priest’s domain. How often have we charged ahead, certain we can make a difference with sheer willpower?
Peter waited for Jesus’ deliverance. But God had a bigger plan. Was Peter shocked to hear guards beat Jesus without mercy? With each thud and mocking taunt, did Peter’s conviction bruise?
Then a lowly servant, a girl at that, challenges Peter (Mark 14:66-70 NIV). Would he identify with Christ or play it safe? We too can be full of faith, then obstacles knock us down. We worry about reputation. Will speaking out cost us a promotion, relationship or income?
The rooster crowed at Peter’s denials and failure to be resolute. After realizing guilt and shame, Peter broke down and wept (Mark 14:72 NIV). But the lessons weren’t over. Though Peter fell short in his own strength, God planned redemption.
After Jesus resurrected, he sought out Peter and offered restoration. For each time Peter failed to speak up, Jesus gave the opportunity to repent and heal. “Do you love me?” Jesus asked three times (John 21:15-19 NIV).
After Peter recommitted his life to Jesus, Peter fulfilled the prophecy of Matthew 16:17 and stood solid as a rock. We also get redos. We don’t have to cower under condemnation. God will redeem our brokenness and equip us to move forward in confidence.
Jesus commissioned Peter to “take care of my sheep.”
Jesus’ love empowered Peter to overcome failure. How can we do the same for the souls entrusted to our care?
See the video devotion at https://youtu.be/yXDM2ntaRHo.