Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Peter's Betrayal and Denial

Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me” (Luke 22:34).

Judas betrayed Jesus, and Peter denied Him; but Peter repented and was saved, while Judas hung himself and was lost. How do we account for the difference? Satan attacked both men, but in the case of Judas, he found no resistance (Luke 22:3), while in Peter’s case Satan had to ask permission to put him to the test (v. 31).

The difference between the two was that Judas never was truly converted. He was with Jesus for all the wrong reasons, and when things did not work out as he wanted, he betrayed Jesus. Peter, on the other hand, was a true child of God, and though he stumbled in a time of weakness, he did not fall completely.

Jesus said to Peter, “I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail” (v. 32). Can a Christian lose his salvation? No, but not because of anything in ourselves. Left to ourselves we would surely wander away permanently. Rather it is because Jesus prays for us that we come back after we have sinned. The Son of Man intercedes to preserve for all eternity the souls of His people. Jesus knew that Peter would repent, so He said, “when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (v. 32).

Having promised to pray for Peter, Jesus ended the Last Supper by telling the disciples they were going to enter a new phase of the kingdom. Formerly, when He sent them out to preach, He told them not to take money or extra clothing. Wherever they went, they were warmly received and provided for, because the people wanted to hear what great things were happening. However, from then on, they were to take along money and extra clothing, and also a sword for protection, because the persecution that was about to be measured out against Jesus was going to be measured out against His disciples as well.

Paul tells us that godly sorrow brings repentance, but worldly sorrow leads to regret and death (2 Corinthians 7:9–11). Peter experienced godly sorrow while the regret Judas felt was worldly, not because he had betrayed the Son of God, but because his plans had failed. Search your heart today and measure your level of godly sorrow.