Hanging the phone up, I was devastated. Why is this happening? What is wrong with me? The person on the other end was calling from the Temp agency I had my job through, informing me that I was being fired…again. It was the second time in 6 months. I felt like such a failure. It’s tough when we realize that we’ve blown it. It makes us feel defeated. I can imagine the apostle Peter feeling the same way after he denies Jesus.
Chosen by Jesus to be one of his disciples, he sees and experiences many things being part of the ministry. As the spokesman for the twelve, Peter at times acted impulsively. As Jesus’s final hours on this earth unfold, Peter messes up, really messes up.
After Jesus is arrested, the disciples scatter. However, Peter waits around to see what would happen. According to Luke (chapter 22:54-62(NLT), he is recognized first by a servant girl, and then by another person. Both times Peter denies knowing Jesus, and both times a rooster crows. An hour passes, and someone else recognizes him; Peter’s Galilean accent must have given him away. Peter again insists that he doesn’t know him. As he is speaking, the rooster crows a third time. The text says that Peter leaves and weeps bitterly, grieving over what he had just done.
How will Peter get over what he’d done? How will he be able to move past this moment? Do any of these thoughts ring a bell as they did for me after I was fired? The story gets better, I promise.
Peter is Given Another Chance
In John 21:15-17 (NLT) after Jesus is resurrected, John records an encounter between Peter and Jesus. I’m guessing it’s safe to assume that the two had time before this to talk and “hash things out.” With the other disciples present, Jesus reinstates Peter publicly. This passage can get confusing because Jesus and Peter use two different words for love, due to the translation of the Greek language. Actually, Jesus and Peter spoke Aramaic to one another. Peter’s use of his word for love does not mean he didn’t love Jesus the way Jesus wanted him to. He wouldn’t have appointed Peter three times to feed and take care of his followers if he had any doubts. The point here is that Peter gets a second chance. We all do. That’s the best news ever. Failure doesn’t have to define us.
Incredibly, we see Peter in the book of Acts as a new man powered by the Holy Spirit. He stands up to Rome, heals people, and delivers sermons that save many.
My friends, I want you to be encouraged. Though we may mess up and royally fail sometimes, there is hope. What we see as failure, God sees as an opportunity to create new and improved versions of ourselves. Once we confess our mess up, God’s grace covers us and allows us an upgrade. Becoming you 2.0.