Peter’s New Beginning
“Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost [the farthest away] those who come to God through Jesus” (Hebrews 7:25 NKJV).
No matter how far or how long we’ve fallen, our precious Savior desires to rescue. His patient and long suffering love has no end.
Everyone has a past but God delights in giving second chances. Only He can cure sin’s poison.
Simon Peter, whom Jesus named ‘Rock’ is one of the most colorful characters in the New Testament. He’s the first apostle to recognize Jesus as Messiah, the Anointed One and Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16). This rambunctious impetuous fisherman became a humble fisher of men for the kingdom of God.
Simon miserably failed his Master in an hour of crisis; yet he was forgiven, fully restored and re-commissioned by Jesus. The Nazarene woodworker taught this disciple many lessons: one of which is instruction in self-knowledge and humility (Alfred Edersheim, Jewish convert to Christianity 1825-1889).
Christ sees straight through to the bottom of one’s heart. Knowing that Peter loved Him, Jesus said. “I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not, and when you are converted [changed] strengthen your brothers”(Luke 22:32). The pivotal point for Peter’s transformation came after Jesus’ arrest. Luke’s gospel records Jesus’ eye contact with Peter, which led him to ‘go out and weep bitterly’ (Luke 22:61-62).
Jesus’ fixed gaze and relentless mercy touched the fisherman profoundly, leading him to true repentance---and, a greater understanding of merciful forgiveness.
Edersheim calls Peter the “Apostle of Hope”. Peter’s natural and spiritual life ended well. Jewish historians believe Peter, after learning of his crucifixion, requested they ‘hang him upside down’. He knew he wasn’t worthy to die in the same manner as the Chosen One. This proved Peter was a redeemed man who wanted God’s glorification more than his own.
God offers new beginnings each day. He graciously extends as many opportunities as needed to align us with holiness. We are immeasurably loved and forgiven for the past, present and future sins.