December 13, 2022 – Luke 22:54-62 – Like Peter

Today we will be reading from Luke 22:54-62:

54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. 55 When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 Then a female servant, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

This passage always gets me.  Who loved Jesus more than Peter?  Peter confessed Jesus as Lord.  Peter was a leader of the disciples.  Peter was among the inner circle that would withdraw with Jesus for prayer and work.  Peter was one of the very closest to Jesus.

Yet, he still fell.  He still messed up.  He still betrayed, just like Judas.  Sins aren’t just things that “they” do.  Sins aren’t just the mistakes that “they” make.  Peter loved Jesus; there is no doubt.  Yet here he is, still falling.  

We love Jesus this morning.  I mean, you’re sitting here reading this devotional either through a text you signed up for, or an email you subscribed to, or a website you went to.  You made some effort to read this.  You want to know Jesus better.  I want to know Jesus better.  We all want to know Jesus better.

Yet, I imagine if we reflect upon yesterday, we will have, as an old pastor of mine used to say, missed the mark in some way. We will have sinned in some way, but what we have done (sin of commission) or by what we have not done (sin of omission).  Friends, we are much like Peter.  

We love Jesus.  We want to do right.  We want to follow.  We want to obey.  We want to be faithful.  Yet, we find ourselves, somewhere along the way, each day, missing the mark. Failing to be faithful.  Failing to be obedient.  Failing Jesus.  

And that is why, we celebrate Christmas.  God knew we were imperfect beings. He knew that we could not do it ourselves.  He knew that yes, we loved Him, be we were also prone to fall, prone to fail, prone to stumble. 

As the old hymn goes: 

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love

The Lord knows that. And that is why He sent Jesus. So that when fall, we can be forgiven.  We are like Peter.  Yes, we fall. But also, we are loved by an amazing God. 

You are loved today, in spite of any struggle you may have.  You are loved.  

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