The Lord our God knows the end from the beginning of our lives. He simply intimately knows His every beloved creation from the inside out. Nothing can be hidden from Him, not even our sins, faults and failures and yet His love overcomes them all and graces us to being His righteousness in Christ Jesus.
I was reading The Passion Translation of the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus and was so touched by the beauty of His unfailing love that cannot be hindered nor stopped by our unrighteousness, but called and prophesied to each of us according to how He sees by the power of the Blood of Jesus and the power of His resurrection.
“Peter, my dear friend, listen to what I’m about to tell you. Satan has demanded to come and sift you like wheat and test your faith.” (Luke 22:31 TPT)
Look at this. Despite Jesus’ foreknowledge of Peter denying Him a few verses later, He still called him by his name with words of endearment, “my dear friend”. In this world that we live in, we only call people “friends” when we see them agreeing with us, loving and liking us. Once betrayal comes, that is the end of friendship. So seldom we see friendships restored after a serious stabbing on the back.
Then, Jesus forewarned Peter that something powerful was coming up to test his faith. Not just warning him but even to the point of ASSURING Peter that his back is covered with PRAYER by Jesus.
“But I have prayed for you, Peter, that you would stay faithful to Me no matter what comes.” (Luke 22:32 TPT)
Hmmm … have you ever wondered how we would call a person if in any case somehow have an inkling that that certain person is about to betray us? What would we find ourselves doing to that person?
You may be wondering why I have meditated on this. Maybe somehow a thought entered your mind .. “oh well, He is Jesus and He is ABLE!” However, He also called us Christians, Christ-like, imitators of Christ. As He is, so are we in this world. (1John 4;17) I so believe that His word was given to us that we may know, learn, explore, grow and develop what He has revealed to us, and that is to become like Him.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)
Not only Jesus foreknew and forewarned Peter, but He already spoke and prophesied Peter’s restoration even before he even committed such betrayal. In fact, I see Peter being commissioned here as well.
“REMEMBER THIS: after you have turned back to Me and have been RESTORED, make it your LIFE MISSION to strengthen the faith of your brothers.” (Luke 22:32 TPT)
What amazing grace Jesus demonstrated in this bible passage. Before we fall short of His glory, He already have a redemptive solution to the things that we will wrongly do unintentionally. Peter NEVER intended to deny Jesus. He even responded so confidently.
“But Lord, “Peter replied, “I am ready to stand with you to the very end, even if it means prison or death.”. (Luke 22:33 TPT)
Jesus looked at him and prophesied, “Before the rooster crows in the morning, you will deny three times that you even know Me.” (Luke 23:34 TPT)
A lot of times we may feel fully convinced of what we are about to say and do until we come face to face with a certain situation. Only then, we will come to know what is hidden inside our hearts. But GOD knows and yet His heart is filled with love and compassion. He is ever ready to come and help us.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And LEAD ME in the way everlasting.”
A few verses later, we find Peter denying Jesus three times. “And that moment, the Lord, Who was being led through the courtyard by His captors, turned around and gazed at Peter. All at once Peter REMEMBERED the words Jesus had prophesied over him, “Before the rooster crows in the morning, you will deny three times that you even know Me.”
“Peter burst into tears, ran off from the crowd, and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:61-62 TPT)
When we come to realize that the things that we did hurt the one we love, it causes us to weep. How much more when it dawns on us that what we did hurt the One Who loves us most, Jesus?
Nothing is hidden from the eyes of the Lord. He knew how Peter wept bitterly when he denied Him. The prophecy of Peter’s restoration is still at work. When God speaks, His word remains until it comes into manifestation. Three times Peter denied Jesus. And this time, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loves Him. With his positive response, Jesus indeed commissioned Him to strengthen the faith of his brothers by saying, “Take care of My lambs.” (John 21:15 TPT), “Take care of My sheep.” (John 21:16 TPT) and “Feed My lambs.” (John 21:17 TPT).
Truly nothing compares to the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ, the LOVE of our Father and the FELLOWSHIP of the Holy Spirit. His blessed assurance of restoration does not give us the license to sin just because we surely will be restored. On the contrary, sin will have NO DOMINION over us for we are under GRACE. (Romans 6:14). His unmerited favor of giving us the gift of righteousness in Christ Jesus and the exceeding greatness of His power at work in us in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit graces and empowers us to live right.
“For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even GREATER is God’s WONDERFUL GRACE and His GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, for ALL who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this ONE MAN, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17 NLT)
In the light of His love, mercy and grace, we are to see those around us with the eyes of faith seeing and perceiving that there is HOPE in every mankind. We see past beyond the behavior of man and anchor our eyes to see how the Lord our God sees him. If He Who is Holy sees a man blameless by the power of the Blood of Jesus shed at the cross, what right do we have to see a man sinful and bound by our past thoughts of him?
Let us then look to Jesus Who is the author and finisher of our faith. The more we behold Him, the more we become like Him, seeing man from His perspective of love that restores.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You, for knowing me inside out yet revealing to Me the kind of love that You have for me that NEVER FAILS, NEVER GIVES UP and NEVER RUNS OUT ON ME. Thank You, Jesus, for giving me the gift of righteousness by the power of Your Blood shed at the cross to perpetually cleanse me. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your ever present help in my life that I may not fulfill the lusts of my flesh as You grace and empower me to live consumed by Your love, mercy and grace. Amen!