When We Fail Christ – Luke 22:31-34
(This coming Sunday we’ll be kicking off a new series in Luke, “The King is Here.” This week I’ll be blogging on some of the top verses and themes from Luke.)
After Jesus had shared the Passover meal with His disciples (also known as “The Last Supper”), Jesus began to explain to the disciples what was about to transpire. Then He made a curious statement to Peter:
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:31-34)
What I find curious about Jesus statement is that He’s saying that
- Satan wanted to work Peter over so he would fail,
- Jesus prayed for his faith to NOT fail,
- Yet Jesus also acknowledged that Peter WOULD fail by denying Jesus three times. To a young girl, no less.
If I were writing the script, it would turn out quite different. Jesus would pray for Peter, and Peter would then stand fast during the test that would come in the High Priest’s courtyard. The girl would say “There’s one of His followers…” to which Peter would reply “That’s right! I follow Jesus, take me to the cross too!” Peter would die a glorious death beside his friend and Savior.
Of course, that’s not how it turned out. Peter denied Christ. Satan won… or did he?
See we all know the story, Peter went on to be a powerful witness for Christ, one of the Apostles that will one day rule and reign with Christ (Matt 19:28).
Peter’s story is a great story because its a story of second chances. Its a story of redemption. Its a story that speaks to us today, as we seek to follow Christ and make Him known, yet despite our best efforts we sometimes fail Christ just like Peter did.
Yet even when we fail Christ, like Peter, our story isn’t over. Even though we may blow it, God doesn’t kick us to the curb. Even when it seems like Satan won, He hasn’t. We serve a great and mighty God who is capable of doing great things through imperfect men and women.
In fact, I believe our God takes delight in taking people who have blown it, and doing mighty things through them. I believe this because I’ve seen it happen so many times. Men and women that the world has written off, when they turn to Christ, God moves mountains through them.
John 21 gives the account of Jesus with the disciples after His resurrection, sitting on the beach, cooking breakfast for them. And there is Peter, face to face with the Lord whom he denied.
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” (John 21:19)
I believe that is the key. Even when we’ve failed, as Peter did that night, we can turn to Christ and be restored. Not only restored, but empowered to do great things in the kingdom.
We can change the world, one life at a time…