"A CRUMBLING ROCK "
April 2, 2017
(Jesus said) "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat" (Luke 22:31).
Read Luke 22:31-34
Jesus predicted Judas' betrayal. Now He turns to Peter, whose name means rock. But this time Jesus doesn't call him "Peter"; instead, He repeats his name, "Simon, Simon," to show His deep concern.
Jesus draws back the spiritual curtain to expose the devil, who stands behind all that Jesus will soon suffer: Judas' betrayal, Peter's denial, the murderous vote of the Jewish leaders, the cowardice of the Roman governor, and the cruelty of the Roman soldiers. In Peter's case Satan demanded that God hand him over to be crushed and sifted. But where Satan demands, Jesus prays. He tells Peter "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail."
Peter's faith will be sorely tried in the hours to come, but Jesus makes a bold and comforting prophesy, "When you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Peter's pride and self-confidence will be crushed and sifted like wheat, but the Holy Spirit will safeguard his faith to keep it from failing.
Jesus speaks of the future; Simon speaks of the present. He is proud and confident that he will not fail. He is ready to go with Jesus to prison or even to death. So Jesus explicitly predicts his coming denials: "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know Me."
The Son of God's prophetic word trumps Peter's confident self-assurance. But it will take the rooster's crow and a telling look from Jesus to convince Peter of that fact-and to recall him to repentance, the first step to forgiveness and restoration.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, like Peter sometimes I'm confident in my strength and abilities. At other times I'm utterly defeated. Forgive my sins and fill me with Your Spirit, that I may walk in Your great strength. Amen.