“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you (pl) like wheat; but I have prayed for you (sing), that your (sing) faith may not fail; and you (sing), when once you (sing) have turned again, strengthen your (sing) brothers.” But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” And He said, “I say to you (sing), Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you (sing) have denied three times that you (sing) know Me.”Luke 22:31-34
pl = plural
sing = singular
So they arrested Him and led Him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance.
The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!” But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!” After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!” “No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted. About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.” But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about. “And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know Me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.Luke 22:54-62
The live question is “Did Peter fall to the point of losing his faith? That’s what three people have asked since Gem 1235. I suggested you take the time to check it out yourself and use the whole of the Bible as your scope of investigation. Use the Bible to interpret the Bible.
The first thing to do is to check out the passage before us. Did you notice that I embolden some sections in the passages above. Namely:
I have prayed for you (sing), that your (sing) faith may not fail – Jesus speaking
Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly
When Jesus tells you He is praying for you so that you will not fail, that’s pretty solid ground to stand on. But notice also that Peter had his part to play. Peter left weeping bitterly. Something has happened in Peter’s heart as a result of the experience. Compare his experience to that of Esau who though he sought repentance with tears he was rejected. (Heb 12:17) Clearly Peter’s repentance was accepted. How do I know that? Because I know the full story and I assume you do too. I have read the back of the book. I know who wins in the end; have you? Looking at the rest of Peter’s life gives us the indication that he was accepted and that his low point in faith was covered by grace. Besides Jesus told him what was going to happen and inferred it would be a crisis in faith for him. Furthermore Jesus told him specially that He was praying for Peter. You can’t get better prayer cover than that.
Apart from looking at the rest of Peter’s ministry which indicates strong Holy Spirit anointing on him, there is also another segment of Scripture which is important to consider in this investigation. Do you know what section that is? It’s John 21:14-17.
This was the third time Jesus had appeared to His disciples since He had been raised from the dead.
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these? ” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “You know I love You.” “Then feed My lambs,” Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “You know I love You.” “Then take care of My sheep,” Jesus said. A third time He asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, You know everything. You know that I love You.” Jesus said, “Then feed My sheep.John 21:14-17
Do you think it’s a coincidence that Peter denied Jesus three times following which Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him? Remember Peter has denied him three times before people whom he didn’t have to be concerned about; people of low social status. He certainly didn’t have to answer to them. Now Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. I am sure Peter got the message. His answer reveals that he did but the answer is buried for us behind translated text. See if you can dig it out without my help. I am merely following my Greek professor’s lead and pointing to the place where you should dig. Hint hint: it’s worth digging. If you wish to dig for yourself to see what you can find out then don’t read any further until you have done your digging.
I have clipped the following from Bible Gem 127
Jesus waits until after breakfast before hitting Peter three times with the same question? “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” By the time Peter is asked the question for the third time he is hurt by the on-going probing question. Verse 17 makes it clear that Peter was hurt by this continuing questioning. And maybe the fact that it is happening in front of the others although the text is not clear on that. But something else is also going on. While it looks like the same question being asked three times, it is not.
The first time the question is asked it is a little different from the others in that “more than these” is added. More than what? It is ambiguous. “These” could be masculine plural referring to the disciples or neuter plural meaning these things. Peter do you love me more than the others love me? Or Peter do you love me more than all these things around you. Fishing, the boat, all the things you have? What is the extent of your love Peter? I think it is a comparison with the other disciples. Peter twice made bold statements in front of the others about following the Lord anywhere. I will die for you Lord. I will go to prison with you LORD. Oh really, will you?
Now we come to something that we don’t pick up on in English or in Indonesian from the text because the translation uses the same word “love” but there is a word change in the original Greek.
Let me spell it out for you.
- The first question: “Simon son of John, do you love (agape) Me?”
- Peter’s answer: “You know I love (phileo) You.”
- The second question: “Simon son of John, do you love (agape) Me?”
- Peter’s answer: “You know I love (phileo) You.”
- The third question: “Simon son of John, do you love (phileo) Me?”
- Peter’s answer: “Lord, You know everything. You know that I love (phileo) You.”
Did Peter’s faith fail him to the point where he lost it? (To re-ask the question three readers have put to me in the last days.) You work it out. I will mop up in the next Gem and then we will move on to the next section. About time too I hear you saying.
Patience with others is Love, Patience with self is Hope and Patience with God is Faith.Patricia Limantoro
Faith Is Not The Denying Of My Circumstances… It Is Acknowledging God’s Truth Concerning Them.Robb Thompson
The miracle of God’s love is not that He loves us—but that He loves us as we are.Leticia Seviraneta
Sometimes faith is an instrument of change; at other times it’s a means of survival.Bob Gass
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt.Samuel Ullman
Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.Philip Yancey