While we are studying angels and tears this last week of August we must not forget Simon Peter. Peter was a fisherman called by Jesus, and we see his life and he is a great example for us all. He was, headstrong and yet heartbroken after the denial of Christ as He had prophesied.
Angels and no doubt tears were a part of his life. He swore, he struggled and he repented with bitter tears. The sad part is that he was right there with Jesus. When he wanted Jesus to become a ruler, he was rebuked by Jesus, who told the devil to get behind Him. By the way, he can get behind me too, because Jesus is beside me. But he also proclaimed Him the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.
Peter didn’t arrive at that by Himself, it was God given. He was inspired. Peter was warned too, by Jesus, Himself that the devil wanted him, even more than Job, He is telling you face to face, Peter. You are going to be sifted. The devil wants you out of the picture more or less. Now, I studied this, and I’m still studying it. Peter had been breathed on, but he may not have spoken in tongues and operated in spiritual gifts, Jesus gives Paul more revelation on that.
We are told to follow love and desire spiritual gifts. If we follow, truly follow Jesus and not just what people say about Him, we are following love. And now we have what most people in the Bible did not, the Holy Spirit in us to teach us. H’e only came upon people before Pentecost.
Peter, though well meaning, was self righteous, and self absorbed, but I am not judging him at all. In fact, his story has benefited me on many an occasion, I have been sifted, I thought I was in control, insert laughing and crying emojis, right? God is, and He as protected me from many faux pas, and foolish people and their pride. Mine was humbled and I was proud of Jesus and what He had done for me.
And fear is always a factor, letting the devil in, but I don’t think that Peter was all that afraid of being killed by the Romans, he kept telling Jesus he would not betray Him and even cut off an ear from Malchus in the garden. Was it that He was with Jesus and was not afraid? Had Jesus not healed the ear, he surely would have been arrested. Did he think he had something to prove? By now it was clear Judas was the traitor, but Peter still had been told he would deny Jesus not once but three times before dawn.
And he did, and even to a woman. Now, he probably was afraid. There is a movie I have seen where Jesus looks at him at the third betrayal, that is enough to drive Peter to his bitter tears. Imagine seeing the Lord, in a crown of thorns, beaten and bloodied, glance at you, as you deny Him.
Peter did recover and was always a chosen man of God, it was always Peter, James and John who were with Him most. He never took Judas to raise the dead or at least it is not recorded. Jesus forgave and restored Peter, privately, and asked him also three times to feed his sheep and lambs. While Jesus love was agape, Peter was still at phileo, friend love. But Jesus met him there as He will us as we grow and shed our tears. And angels are charged over us.
While the fallen one pursued Peter, the Prince of Peace pursued him more, and a angel would even rescue him from prison, though he and his wife were eventually martyred under Nero. We can’t be too hard on Peter, could we have done any better? Do we betray or deny Jesus? I can’t look away from love, and He was even calling Judas friend, as He was betrayed with a kiss.
Judas was the one who sentenced and condemned himself, his tears were bitter. Could he have repented? Perhaps. Some say the only difference was that Peter took his troubles back to Jesus, and Judas to the grave. It is time to look at our closeness and profession of Christ, we do not want to weep Peter’s tears.