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  • Writer's pictureAdelee Russell

The Patron Saint of Broken Promises

Mark 14:30-31 "Jesus replied, 'I tell you the truth, Peter-this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.' 'No.' Peter declared emphatically. 'Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you! 'And all the others vowed the same."(NLT).

I’ve always been drawn to Peter in the Gospels. He had so much passion; so much zealousness for God. He loved Jesus and felt fiercely loyal to Him. He had a fire in his soul; a deep, compulsive desire to DO something big for God. He wanted to please Jesus, and he was always coming up with big ideas no matter how inappropriate they might have been for the moment (see the mount of transfiguration story).

Peter was full of fire and passion for God's Kingdom. He declared Jesus the Messiah, even though later on it turned out he didn’t really know what that meant. Peter seemed to feel every emotion strongly. And he was fiercely loyal to Jesus... until he wasn't.

With just as much force that He declared loyalty to Jesus, he fled when danger came (Mark 14:50). After he fled he crept back. His heart torn between fear and love, self-preservation and concern, he followed at a distance and watched Jesus' trial.

He seems to regain some of his dignity as a follower of Christ—until some locals start asking him about Jesus. Instantly his self-preservation kicks in again and he denies Jesus. Not once. Not twice. But three times. And when he realized what he'd done he broke down and wept. Luke 22:62 says “And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly." (NLT).

In Peter we see extreme passion and extreme weakness. We see extreme courage, and extreme cowardice. We see extreme longing to be close to Jesus, and an extreme inability to do so perfectly.

And in Jesus' response to Peter we see the Gospel. John 21 shows us in detail how Jesus forgave Peter and restored him to Himself.

Jesus ended up using Peter—despite his faults—to accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God. Peter became one of the great pillars of the early church and led thousands to Christ.

I love Peters' story so much because it reveals the love of Christ towards us... towards me. Even though Peter was a mess of good intentions and cowardice, passion and misdirection, Jesus still loved Peter. Jesus still offered Peter reconciliation. Jesus still chose to work through Peter to accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God. And Jesus never gave up on Peter. He continued to grow, and mature, and strengthen Peter despite his blunders. And He promises to do the same for us. And God never breaks His promises.

Philippians 1:6 "And I am certain that God who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Jesus Christ returns." (NLT).

Philippians 2:13, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (NLT).

2 Corinthians 3:5, “It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God” (NLT).

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