Following up on my post, Are You Like Judas, I’d like to ask, Are You Like Peter?
Peter and Judas shared many of the same experiences with Jesus. They both walked with Him, talked with Him, prayed with Him, learned from Him, watched His power flow in both healing and grace…in short, they both were followers of Christ.
Yet they handled their mistakes in two completely different ways.
As previously discussed Judas handled his sin as many people do—he sought human solutions instead of God’s grace. When he couldn’t correct his mistake, when his guilt wasn’t eased, he again reacted as many Christians do—he sought relief outside of God.
Peter, however, is the example Christians SHOULD follow.
You remember the story; Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him three times (Mark 14:27-31).
Despite this warning, Peter is seen shortly later sleeping in the garden while Jesus prays.
Again, Jesus tries to tell him and the others to WATCH and PRAY because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Mark 14:38).
But Peter couldn’t stay awake.
He didn’t take Jesus’ warnings as seriously as he should.
He didn’t prepare his flesh by being alert to temptations and praying.
So when Christ was arrested, Peter wasn’t ready.
Even though his spirit wanted to follow Christ until death, his flesh took the easier route and he ended up denying he knew his Lord three times…just as Jesus predicted.
When Peter realized his mistake/sin, he wept. (Mark 14:66-72).
He couldn’t believe what he’d done.
You’d think that after the first two times of telling people he didn’t know who they were talking about and that he wasn’t a follower of Jesus that he would have remembered Christ warning and changed course.
But he didn’t.
He was human.
Just like you and me.
And like all of us, when we do something wrong, we feel bad.
But here’s where we have the choice of being like Judas or Peter.
Judas tried as hard as he humanly could to correct his mistake of betraying Jesus…but he failed.
Peter however couldn’t wait to get back to Jesus.
God knew Peters heart. He knew Peter was feeling bad and needing reassurance that he was forgiven.
In Mark 16:7 an angel instructs the women to not only tell the disciples, but specifically Peter, that Christ is raised and will meet them soon.
In John 21:1-19 we see their encounter.
Jesus stands on the shore line as the disciple’s fish. When they realize who He is Peter doesn’t hide below deck, too ashamed of his betrayal to see Jesus. No, Peter jumps in the water, swimming to shore. He couldn’t wait for the boat to get to Christ. He NEEDED to restore his relationship with his Savior. He needed to repent.
Jesus doesn’t berate him; He puts Peter to work hauling in the fish. Then Jesus feeds His followers. He provides for Peter’s physical need at that moment.
Next, Jesus addresses Peter’s heart by asking him three times if he loved Him.
“Do you love me?” Jesus asked Peter.
“Do you love me?” Jesus asks us.
If our answer is like Peter’s, YES, then pay attention to what Jesus says next.
GET TO WORK!
Jesus gave Peter a job to do—feed and tend His sheep.
God has a job for you to do as well.
So if you love Him, accept His forgiveness, let go of the past mistakes, and GET TO WORK!
The past will chain you down and keep you ineffective in serving Christ. That’s where satan wants you.
So he will try hard to tie you up with the guilt and shame of your sin. He will entice you to try to fix the problem using human solutions. This is what happened with Judas.
It doesn’t have to happen to you.
You can choose to run TOWARD the Savior. Admit you’ve messed up. Accept His forgiveness and then be about His business (1John 1:9).
Let the past go.
Move forward (Phil 3:13-14).
There’s work to be done for the Kingdom, but first you must address your sin.
So I ask you: Will you respond to your sin like Judas or Peter?