If you missed Kim’s post on Monday, please read it to get a picture of how Peter is pursued and restored by Jesus. It is really an amazing story of how God understands and loves us. What I want to consider today is the power of failure and how it can be redeemed. By any measure, Peter really blew it. After declaring his devotion to Jesus and how he would be loyal, no matter what others did (Matthew 26:33), he denies Jesus publically three times (John 18:15-27). As soon as Peter heard the rooster, he remembered Jesus’ words earlier that he would deny Him. His response is the first step in keeping failure from destroying us – he immediately broke down into tears. No excuses, no justification, no blame-shifting – he recognized and owned his failure. This is the step that leads to help. Miss it and nothing good will happen.
The second step that Peter took is to stay engaged. He stayed close to his friends even though it was certainly tough and humbling to be around those who knew all about the epic fail. Staying engaged and not running away is the pathway to healing. The Church should be a place where people are accepted and loved after a fall not shamed and shunned. We don’t minimize sin and neither do we minimize grace.
As Peter courageously stayed connected with his friends and re-engaged in normal living, Jesus came to him and proved he was forgiven. As Kim said, it is obvious that Peter has been humbled, now Jesus is lifting him up and sending him out as a leader. By notquitting, Peter is restored and stronger than ever. This is what God offers us and it is captured in 1 John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (NLT)