“Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.” — Luke 22:61-62
Andrew and Simon were brothers but different in several ways. Andrew and Simon worked with their father as professional fishermen. Andrew was gentle and quiet, while Simon was rough and hot-tempered. Since Jesus knows all about us, He saw the strengths and weaknesses of both men and knew He’d develop them into great spiritual leaders in a few years, allowing them to keep moving forward.
Though Simon didn’t take a straight path to maturity, the Lord gradually changed Simon from an unstable person to a man who lived up to his new name of Peter, which meant he was rock solid. In a surprising way, Jesus allowed Peter to express his overconfidence and fall flat on his face in order to teach Simon Peter to place his confidence in God’s wisdom and power, rather than his own faulty judgment and inconsistent abilities.
As Jesus predicted, Peter denied Christ three times before the rooster crowed. Surely, Jesus knew Peter better than he knew himself. “Peter replied, ‘Man I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:60-62).
Even though Peter flopped in that moment, God forgave. Failure was not final because the Father is faithful when we falter. When failure is not final, we can keep moving forward. The angel sent word three days later about Peter’s restoration because Christ redeems us for further service. The angel gave the women at the tomb a message to deliver to the apostles. “‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you'” (Mark 16:6-7).
In a short period of time, Peter learned to promote Christ rather than himself. Suddenly, people saw Christ in Peter and thousands of new believers were born into God’s spiritual family. Because failure is not final, Peter was able to keep moving forward and promote Christ rather than himself. “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed'” (Acts 4:8-10).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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