Anglican Morning Devotion for 26 May 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 33And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. 34And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.”
(Luke 22:31-34; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Peter was a man of strong constitution – strong, courageous, and stubborn. But Peter thought he was more of a man than he really was. He was very much like us all in that respect. Jesus had said, “…Without me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) And once Peter was separated physically from Christ, his spirit fainted within him when danger arose.
“Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. 70But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. 71And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. 72And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. 73And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. 74Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 75And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26:69-75) This was the very lowest part of Peter’s life. He denied his Lord – not once, not twice, but three times. Moreover, on the third denial, the Lord looked Peter in the face: “…And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. 61And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.” (Luke 22:60-61)
This was a terrible tragedy for Peter. He wept for three days in shame and self-disappointment. At the open tomb on resurrection morning, the angels told the disciples: “… go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.” (Mark 16:7) Did you notice the nuanced response of the angel in naming only Peter specifically. Why? Because the Lord knew of Peter’s grief. He knows our griefs and hurts as well and comforts us in a thousand ways.
STEPS OF PETER’S RESTORATION (AND OURS):
First of all, Peter remembered the words of the Lord as we all must when we are off the Narrow Way. When our navigation takes us off course, we must remember our former heading and ground track and return to it. “And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” (Luke 22:61)
Secondly, Peter wept bitterly. Repentance should precede restoration. (Luke 22:62)
Thirdly, Peter ran to the open tomb at the glorious news of resurrection. (Luke 24:12) We should not delay our return to Christ.
Fourthly, Peter wondered at the open tomb. (Luke 24:12) We, too, should be amazed at God’s forgiveness.
Fifthly, the Lord’s interview of Peter. The old name Simon came up as well. When we fall back, we return to our old ways and manners. John 21:15-17)
Sixthly, Peter commanded to follow Christ in obedience following restoration. (John 21:22)
Finally, Peter was filled with the Spirit and was never ‘separated’ from his Lord again. This is the consummation of restoration. (Acts 1:2, 14-18)
We may all follow this same pattern of restoration when we find ourselves without water in a desert land and have need of the Lord to open our eyes to the Fountain of Living Waters.