Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart
As morning breaks, we find Peter still weeping in anguish over failing his master. Not only does he deny that he even knows Jesus, but he does it three times!
And on the third time, as Jesus is led through the courtyard, Jesus looks over at Peter. Then the cock crows.
Peter flees, weeping bitterly.
Have you ever blurted out words that you wish you could pull back in? You realize that once those words are out there, there is no retrieving them. You stew on how to fix it. You wonder how to make amends, how to calm troubled waters, waters that you have stirred up with careless or hurtful words.
No doubt, Peter cries out for mercy and forgiveness.
We find snippets of encouragement in three of the Gospels that lets us know that Peter has not been “written off.” In Mark, the women are at the tomb with their spices when the angel tells them that Jesus is not there but has risen! Then the angel tells them,
“But go, tell the disciples and Peter…” Mark 16:7
Luke tells about Jesus’ appearance to the two on the way to Emmaus and how “their hearts burned within them.” When they go back to Jerusalem to share this news with the disciples, they say,
“It is true! The Lord is risen and has appeared to Simon.” Luke 24:34
They go on to tell their story. This little phrase, “has appeared to Simon” can be found no other place. My Bible notes say nothing about this verse. My big, thick commentary, which typically covers every verse, skips right over this one. But there it is, specifically mentioning Simon Peter.
In John, we have the narrative of Mary Magdalene’s first visit to the tomb. She runs to Peter and John to tell them that it is empty and she doesn’t know where they have taken him.
Peter’s old zest returns, and he and John go running to the tomb. John, the younger one, arrives first and peers in. Peter catches up and, in typical Peter-style, steps right into the tomb.
He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. John 20:6-7
The cloths were too neatly left for this to have been a grave robbery. John says, “He saw and believed.” Jesus’ appearance in the upper room that Sunday night seals the deal. Interestingly enough, we hear no words from Peter during the resurrection appearance. I imagine he is glad simply to be included.
Mercy. God’s mercy allows for forgiveness and restitution. He provided it for Peter in these subtle ways and he offers it to us as well.
The next time your tongue starts to throw unwise, hurtful words out of your mouth, rein them in! But know that He offers mercy and grace.
~ Joyce ~