First of all, happy new month of November. Look at us , we have made it to the final 60 days of the year we will never forget . I hope you have been well ,though. There is a new wave of infections here in Kenya and around the world generally so I am hoping that you are staying safe wherever you are reading this from .
The title for this post is Peter denied Jesus. The guilt. The shame .Premium tears. I did it as part of an evening devotion on the radio show and really felt like I could do more on it. That’s why I have this website anyway. To put it into context, Peter is the guy who denied Jesus three times . Later after the resurrection , Jesus still had him in his mind. He still used Peter despite all that happened before.
Mark Chapter 14 27 Jesus said to them, “All of you will run away and leave me, for the scripture says, ‘God will kill the shepherd, and the sheep will all be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised to life, I will go to Galilee ahead of you.” 29 Peter answered, “I will never leave you, even though all the rest do!” 30 Jesus said to Peter, “I tell you that before the rooster crows two times tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me.” 31 Peter answered even more strongly, “I will never say that, even if I have to die with you!”
Peter later denied Jesus as predicted
Matthew 26 69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.” 71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!” 73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.” 74 Then he began to [a]curse and [b]swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.
Anyway, Jesus finally rose from the dead as He also assured his disciples. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body when Sabbath was over but they did not find him . They instead meet an angel who sheds light into where Jesus was and leaves them with an instruction.
Mark Chapter 16 .6 “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. 7 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.’”
Go, tell his disciples and Peter. Okay, why would Jesus leave an instruction that somehow looks to sideline Peter. It feels like Jesus is so mad at Peter for the denial that he gives an instruction that excludes Peter then later includes him in the plan so that he can embarrass Peter in Galilee. Have you ever heard of stories where someone invites someone they don’t like to their baby shower/ graduation party / house warming just to embarrass them? I have . Peter is being invited back to sit with the person he openly denied , probably thinking he would never come back from the dead. Premium tears. The shame. The guilt. He must have felt disgusted by himself. OH, poor Peter.
Peter is all of us when we do the exact thing that we said we would not do. Peter is all of us in our daily lives , feeling the weight and the pain of our decisions .He went out and wept bitterly for he knew he had disappointed Jesus. In his mind , he failed Jesus. The regretting and feeling shameful part is a common thing in all of our lives.
You prayed and promised Jesus that you would never go back to drinking and here you are, back to default setting. You said you would work harder and be a better parent and now look at you , same place same time . You said you will give in church every Sunday and now its been three months . You said you will work on your personality and be a better person but look who is back to his or her toxic traits . Remember when you said you will start saving money intentionally ? It’s been seven months . You told Jesus that you will never go back to your abusive partner and now you are reading this at their house. In this era, it’s called CLOWNING .To Jesus , it’s a different thing.
Jesus wants you to know something today. YOU ARE ON MY LIST.
The instruction to include Peter is a whole prophesy. Jesus is simply telling him “Its okay that you denied me. I understand that you had to do anything to survive. You tried to save yourself from getting crucified with me and I understand you. I want you to know that you are forgiven . You still have your spot in my crew”. That inclusion is Jesus telling all of us that he understands us when we weep bitterly.
When we look at ourselves , we see the things that we did wrong, the things we could have done better and we end up getting stuck because we never see beyond what happened to us. Peter was probably in a corner somewhere crying over the denial and the devil reminds him of the other day that he almost drowned at the sea while walking on water. It’s such a dark place to be in and let’s be honest , we have all been at that corner.
Jesus knew Peter’s heart and his boldness. He knew what Peter was capable of in ministry. Just like he had foreseen his own death , he foresaw the journey of Peter through faith . We see him grow into an apostle with so much influence later in the new testament and that is exactly what Jesus saw. He was not bothered by the incident at the lake or the denial because he knew deep down that Peter , even with his weaknesses , was a good man . Peter is still the rock that Jesus build his church on .
We are always holding on to some guilt that we can’t seem to let go of. That guilt can have grip on us and it simply won’t let us be. God did not design us to wallow in regret from past sin and become partners with guilt and shame. He knows us and our hearts . He does not see as man sees. While we look at the outward appearance , he does not. The other disciples must have looked at Peter as an outcast for what he did but Jesus didn’t. .
No one understands our cries better than Jesus. He took that human form and in it , he knew Peter was somewhere crying over the denial, feeling like he would never be accepted back at the camp. He completely understands it thats why he leaves an instruction to include us in the list . He wants us to know that despite the times we have betrayed him , we are still welcomed to eat with him . That one stumble cant be compared to what we are going to do for his kingdom.
The shame of walking back to the room and sitting with the same person you denied might sting but Jesus says its okay . There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus. That is the assurance. As Amanda Lindsey says “Our confidence is in Jesus. Not even in our ability to hold on to Jesus”
Romans 8 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It’s a whole process to walk with Jesus. It can get challenging sometimes. There are times the things of this world might try to consume us back to default setting . There are other times where we will try to do anything just to survive . We will find trials and temptations. The road will have bumps , corners , traffic jams, fuel stop overs , uphill drives and downhill drives. That’s the journey with faith. God assures us that He will be with us through it all .Ever heard of God on the mountain by Linda Randle? That’s it, that’s the song.
Assurance: It’s okay that you are feeling shameful and you regret what you have done. It’s in our human DNA. However , we can intentionally give our minds to God. To be transformed by our minds being renewed .Then we will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. When those feelings of shame start kicking in and start to sting us , we will have the weapons from the word of God to fight them back.
Thank you for passing by. I have tagged three songs as usual and I hope they resonate with you. Also , feel free to send back a comment on the article. I always appreciate all the messages I get back from you. There is a Whatsapp Icon hanging around here that you can use , or my social media . Facebook and Twitter.
God Bless you. Have a fruitful month
Jesus Paid it all-Kim Walker Smith Live at the Worship Circle
Jesus Friend of Sinners-Casting Crowns
There is also this song by two talented Kenyan artists. I listened to it on one show on the radio where I work and I really loved it. I don’t know them personally but if you ever meet them around, let them know this was a well done song for me