Peter’s heart was in the right place

All of God’s Giants have been weak men. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, knew the secret of strength through weakness. Complimented once by a friend on the impact of the mission, Hudson answered, “It seemed to me that God looked over the whole wor … More

Weakness

On the way to the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus warned His disciples  that they would not understand that He would die and they would all forsake Him. In explaining this Jesus quoted from the prophecy found in Zechariah 13:7 (v. 27).

Peter who was always outspoken, strongly stated that he would never desert the  Lord and the other disciples affirmed their loyalty (vv 28-31). Jesus told Peter that before the day was over he would deny Him three times. Peter could not believe that this would happen. He had forgotten his own human weakness and the strength of the devil’s temptations. But there is one thing to be remembered about Peter—his heart was in the right place. Better, a Peter with a flaming heart of love, even if that love did for a moment fail most shamefully, than a Judas with a cold heart of hate. Let that man condemn Peter who never broke a promise, who never was disloyal in thought or action to a pledge. Peter loved Jesus, and even if his love failed, it rose again.

There was nothing for which Jesus was not prepared. The opposition, the misunderstanding, the enmity of the orthodox religious people, the betrayal by one of his own inner circle, the pain and the agony of the Cross—he was prepared for them all. But perhaps what hurt him most was the failure of his friends. It is when a man is up against it that he needs his friends most, and that was exactly when Jesus’ friends left him all alone and let him down. There was nothing in the whole gamut of physical pain and mental torture that Jesus did not pass through.

Application

Before I condemn Peter too severely I need to ask myself how willing I am to admit a broken promise I have made to the Lord. What do I think Jesus thinks about this?

Mark 14:27-31 (English Standard Version)

And Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee." Peter said to him, "Even though they all fall away, I will not." And Jesus said to him, "Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." But he said emphatically, "If I must die with you, I will not deny you." And they all said the same.

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