Let us look deeper in to our message and see what God has in store for us today. My brothers and sisters in the Lord this is your moment to search yourself to see where we fit in the mind of Jesus as He focus on Peter in this conversation.
But something had to be done about Peter. So accustomed was he to coming to the rescue that he couldn’t imagine just standing by, doing nothing, while the Lord surrendered His perfect life. And it’s my guess that even the Lord’s prediction of his denial served to strengthen Peter’s resolve that as long as he could prevent it, the Lord would not fall into any danger. Earlier the Lord had rebuked him for not seeing the big picture, not having in mind the things of God but the things of man, but it hadn’t been enough. The Lord’s second rebuke, in the garden, had backed Peter down temporarily, but more had to be done.
It wasn’t as if Peter could thwart the will of God, but he could make accomplishing it a lot messier, perhaps even wasting his own life in the process. The Lord had more in store for Peter that required keeping him alive, but Peter’s self determining ways would not be helpful with that either. He had to be brought to the end of himself, in order to be useful to God. He had to be made weak in order for the Lord to show Himself strong, and so Satan got permission to “sift him as wheat”, just as he had earlier received permission to afflict Job in order to accomplish God’s will. Like it is with wheat, the sifting of a man is designed to remove his impurities, and that’s what the Lord wanted for Peter. Satan was simply His agent for accomplishing that.
Peter’s sifting came in the form of his public denial of the Lord. I can’t begin to imagine how humiliating it must have been for him when he heard that rooster crow, and remembered the Lord’s earlier prophecy of his denial. He’d always been so brave, so dauntless, but suddenly even the accusation of a servant girl, the least powerful of all people, had intimidated him into denial, and just at the moment of what he perceived to be the Lord’s greatest need. I can even see him blaming himself for the Lord’s death, much as you and I have done when we finally came to the gut level realization that it was our sin that put Him on the cross, not just humanity’s, but ours.
Peter had always been the one the others looked to for strength, but when it really counted he’d been weak, even cowardly. For the rest of his life and through out the entire Church Age when people thought of Peter, they’d remember that moment. It would define his life.
Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head
Follow me on Twitter @ArchbishopGregg@MysticPatriarch
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