Thoughts on Jesus, Peter, and Paul
And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros --a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra --a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. (Matthew 16:18 AMP)
Jesus said to him, Solemnly I declare to you, this very
night, before a single rooster crows, you will deny and disown Me three times. Peter said to Him, Even if I must die with You, I will not deny or disown You! And all the disciples said the same thing. (Matthew 26:34, 35 AMP)
While Peter was down below in the courtyard, one of the
[serving] maids of the high priest came; And when she saw Peter warming himself, she gazed intently at him and said, You were with Jesus of Nazareth too. But he denied it falsely and disowned Him, saying, I neither know nor understand what you say. Then he went outside [the courtyard and was] into the vestibule. And a cock
crowed. And the maidservant saw him, and began again to say to the bystanders, This [man] is [one] of them. But again he denied it falsely and disowned Him. And after a short while, again the bystanders said to Peter, Really,you are one of them, for you are a Galilean and your dialect shows it. Then he commenced invoking a curse on himself [should he not
be telling the truth] and swearing, I do not know the Man about Whom you are talking! And at once for the second time a cock crowed. And Peter remembered how Jesus said to him, Before a cock crows twice, you will utterly deny Me [disclaiming all connection with Me] three times. And having put his thought upon it [and remembering], he broke down and wept aloud and lamented. (Mark 14:66-72 AMP)
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; and stooping down and looking in, he saw the linen cloths alone by themselves, and he went away, wondering about and marveling at what had happened. (Luke 24:12 AMP)
And rising up that very hour, they went back to Jerusalem, where they found the Eleven [apostles] gathered together and those who were with them, Who said, The Lord really has risen and has appeared to
Simon (Peter)! (Luke 24:33, 34 AMP)
At my first trial no one acted in my defense [as my advocate]or took my part or [even] stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them! (2 Timothy 4:16 AMP)
So here is My point with all of the above.
This idea of Peter and Jesus was opened to me almost four weeks ago. I was reading and noticed what Jesus said in Matthew 16:18. It stood out to me because I knew Peter had denied Jesus. It seemed odd to me that Jesus would speak to Peter with such a blessing as Matthew 16:18 when Jesus, in my opinion, knew what would happen in Mark 16:66.
So, God knowing that Peter would deny Jesus three times still used him in such a way that He builds the church on Peter. Also, Peter has such favor with Jesus that after His resurrection the apostles point out how The Messiah has appeared and shown Himself to Peter!
Fast forward to 2 Timothy and we see Paul writing Timothy and saying how in Paul's first trial his friends and followers forsook him. The best part of this verse is when Paul says "let it not be charged against them!”.
This should be a Christians correct response to other Christians. The two points being shown are the following. A.) Jesus looks past the faults of Peter and declares that Peter is a rock. Jesus looks into the future of Peter. Jesus prophesies into Peter's life encouraging and lifting Peter up. Jesus does not pull Peter down, He doesn't point out Peter's faults. He lifts him up. B.) Even after Peter's huge screw up, Jesus still presents Himself to Peter in a greater way than any of the other apostles. He doesn't tell Peter to leave, He doesn't tell Peter to come back when he is some form of perfection. Jesus shows Himself to Peter all the more even after Peter's mistakes.
And Paul. He is in jail, he was on trial, Beaton to near death. His followers and friends have left him alone when hard times came. Yet, Paul says “let it not be charged against them!”. He still has love and mercy for the ones that deserted him.
These are the things I have been hurting over for the last year or two in the church. We do not build people up in our church, especially young leaders. We have the habit of making them conform to our outdated ideas of perfection. This only drives people away. We also have a hard time with forgiveness. When those around us screw up and hurt us in some way; we look for revenge or we cut them off from ourselves. I have a hard time finding mercy in one of the main places people should find mercy...The Church.
I believe we need to begin asking God what He sees in the people we encounter. We need to love people into the change they need and not hold bitterness and anger towards them. We must Release mercy and it shall be released to us.