I like Simon Peter. As a matter of fact, there is no single character in all of the New Testament that I can identify with more than Peter. Big, kind of goofy, always opening his mouth and inserting his foot. Come to think of it, a lot of us can probably identify with him, can’t we? I personally love to watch his life and the change that occurred in it and think about how God can use almost anyone at anytime to do anything.
When you think about the life of Peter, I am convinced that one of the most significant moments in his life occurred in Luke 22. Think about it, is there any more powerful reminder of the care of Christ than this? Jesus is preparing to die. In a very short time one of His closest friends, Judas, will turn into an “informant” and give away Christ to the religious authorities for a little bit of money. Jesus is also aware that He is about to undergo tremendous stress and pain in order to accomplish the ultimate achievement of his earthly life. Yet, in spite of that tremendous pressure Jesus is not thinking about Himself at that point, instead He is caring for one of His closest friends, Peter, who He knows is about to reject Him. Jesus knew, however, that Peter was also going to become the great follower of God that would eventually preach at Penecost and see 3,000 people respond to Christ at one time. Look at the words of the text with me.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Wow! What amazing passion from Jesus. Think about the power of hearing that the Son of God, the creator of the Universe, is personally interceding on your behalf. I can’t imagine a more moving moment. What makes it even more moving is that, at this point Peter is the least likely candidate for Christ’s words. Big, bumbling, about to cut of Malchus’ ear and reject Christ. In spite of all that, Christ sees the value in Peter and encourages Him with those words.
I don’t know how you feel, but as a follower of Jesus who loves Him passionately, but who is also imperfect, I feel the weight of Jesus’ words personally. As I live and try to follow Him I am moved, and encouraged, by the fact that Christ is personally praying for Peter, and one would assume, for you and I as well.
Thank you, God, that Christ sympathizes with us – and loves us deeply in spite of ourselves.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.