But He Would Not Leave
~When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken~
Eternal love bound Jesus to His astonished disciple. From eternity, Peter was carried on the great heart of Jesus. From eternity he was imbedded into the nail print of God’s hands which stretched out upon the cross, embracing all who come.
It was the beginning of a love affair between an impetuous Peter and the “Most High God”. God revealed Himself to His beloved disciple by reaching out to where Peter was at the time, in a fishing boat.
Peter, upon seeing the miracle of fishes, recognized the Divinity of Jesus. “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” But Jesus would not leave Peter.
For three and one half years, Jesus patiently led and taught His disciple. Many times God’s kindness was revealed to sinful Peter. Peter saw the face of God, in the person of Jesus, ever clearer as this glorious Being unveiled Himself through the mistakes and pride of Peter. How many times Peter was humbled as the Son of God, Son of Man taught him the way of love. How many times would Peter bring grief to Jesus, in the end, forsaking Him. But Jesus would not leave.
Finally, as Jesus was nailed to the cruel cross, Peter must have thought that the end had come, and his beloved Master finally left him through death. Peter’s whole life was shattered; the end had come as the body of Jesus was placed in the tomb.
“Go tell my disciples and Peter that I am risen and I go before him unto Galilee.” What is this? Peter being especially sought after from God who died and rose again? Peter, the one who had sinned so against Jesus finally denying he knew Him?
But He will not leave. He cannot leave. He is bound by His faithfulness to stay by sinful disciples. It is against the very Love of God displayed on that cross for you and for me.
~I will never leave or forsake you~
The King of Love My Shepherd Is
The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine for ever.
Where streams of living water flow
My ransom’d soul He leadeth,
And, where the verdant pastures grow
With food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish oft I stray’d,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy Cross before to guide me.
Thou spreads a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And oh, what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!
And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never:
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house for ever.
Devotional: Virginia Ganskie, 2006
Poem: Henry Baker, 1868
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