I have a leaf in my Bible. I don't mean leaf as in paper, I mean an actual leaf from an oak tree. It is very dry, though not yet crumbly and has this word on it "Negin," and the day, "6/24/09." It has a permanent spot in my Bible: Luke 22.
He has always been one of my favorite Bible characters; I've always felt a connect with Him. Maybe it's the way He blurts things out, or jumps at the chance to do something big:)
The speaker, Miss Walker, asked us on the first night, "What do people remember you for?" She challenged us to picture a box [__] and in it is who you are - what would other people put inside?
Can you imagine being remembered for the worst day in your life? That's what happened to Simon Peter. "Oh, he's the one who denied Christ three times." Yes, he was. What a horrible day for Peter! Can you imagine?
Here, he's been following Christ for three years, every hope and dream of his was bound up in the ONE whom he had been following. His ambitions were to be a great one in His Lord's kingdom. He was the one who had first said, in response to the question, "Who do you say that I am?" "YOU ARE THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD."
Right, Peter! Good job! But do you know what you said, Peter? Do you realize the implications?
Peter was the bold fisherman, who had left all to follow Christ. He was the one whose mother-in-law had been healed by Christ of a high fever. He was the one who saw Christ's Transfiguration, when He revealed some of His glory to the Peter, James and John. Peter was the one who had jumped up saying, "Let us build tabernacles on this spot!"
Oh, Peter! Ever the "foot-in-mouth" type of guy! He was the one who took Jesus aside when He was speaking of His death, telling Him not to say such things.
"Get behind me, Satan!" was Jesus' response.
Peter was the one who, when Jesus was washing the disciples' feet, said, "Lord, don't just wash my feet, wash my head, my hands, my whole body!" Oh, Peter...
But that worst day of all, the day for which all the Sunday school children remember Peter...
Jesus and His disciples were eating the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus is trying to make it clear to them what He is about to do, and they are NOT getting it. In the midst of His declaration of His suffering, the disciples start arguing about who among them will be the greatest in the kingdom of God! Jesus turns and looks at them, especially at Peter, and says,
"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 to him, "I tell you, Peter, that the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me." (Luke 22:31-34)
And so begins Peter's worst nightmare.
Part 2. Part 3.