Gardendale Nazarene

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Peter's Denial | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

Peter's Denial

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

–Luke 22:31-34 ESV

If you are like me, I read the story of Peter’s denial with a tinge of hopelessness. “If Peter can’t stand, how can I stand?”

I believe a closer examination of these three verses breathes life into a dark time in Peter’s life. The Greek text reveals something the English translations miss.

The uses of the word you in verse 31 is plural. Here Jesus is speaking to the eleven disciples before Him.

However, Jesus changes the number of the word in the next three verses. Each time you is used, it is singular. Here Jesus is addressing Peter. You will note, that I bolded the singular uses and italicized the plural uses.

Why is this important? Here is a fact we often miss- Satan demanded all of the apostles. Then we read that Jesus prayed specifically for Peter. Look at what Jesus prayed, “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.”

When I read the stories in the remainder of Luke’s Gospel and in Acts, I think Jesus’ prayer was answered. No where do we read that Peter’s faith failed. We do read that his courage failed in his denial a few verses away.

I know each one of us has a time (or multiple times) where we feel our courage has failed. The important thing is not that your courage failed. The important thing is that your faith didn’t fail.

Do you want to know the incredible thing? Jesus is praying for you that your faith may not fail! Then we hear Jesus give us some instructions for once we realized we have failed, “And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus is praying for your faith to not fail and this Holy Week, my we rest in that fact that the King of Heaven is praying for you!