Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Peter - A Strong Statement and Grace (June 2023 Journal Entry)

A Strong Statement

I was reading a devotional this week and it mentioned Peter denying Christ with some other thoughts, and it got me thinking...

Both Matthew and Luke record Jesus saying "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." - a pretty hard-core, black and white statement that I'm sure Peter heard.  I certainly heard it in Sunday School and church growing up.  

Here's what struck me this week, after years of growing up with church teaching:

  • Peter must've been present and heard Jesus say "..deny me before men, and I'll deny you before my Father..." at some point while he was a disciple.
  • Most of the Gospels record Peter committing to following Jesus to death during the last supper, and Jesus responding with "Truly, I tell you, this very night you will deny me three times..."  Jesus knew Peter would deny him.  Jesus' words about 'deny me and I'll deny you before my Father' ring loudly in my ears!
  • Peter denied Jesus 3 times, just as Jesus said he would. Peter wept bitterly after he realized what he'd done.
  • Following Jesus' resurrection, Jesus forgave Peter and commissioned him for ministry and building/leading the church. 
God's grace, greater than all our sin - Jesus was full of grace and truth
Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash


So...  the behaviour of Jesus towards Peter when they met after the resurrection makes me think Jesus won't deny Peter before the Father in heaven.  'But, but, but....  Jesus said...'   My mind worked overtime trying to reconcile Jesus' strong statement with this behaviour.  

My conclusion?  I need a new, deeper understanding of God's grace.  A hymn and a verse quickly came to mind:
  • Grace Greater Than All Our Sin
        Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
        Freely bestowed on all who believe!
        You that are longing to see His face,
        Will you this moment His grace receive?
            Grace, grace, God’s grace,
            Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
            Grace, grace, God’s grace,
            Grace that is greater than all our sin!

  • John 1:14
    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth

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