Can you imagine being told by the Son of God that you are going to deny Him, not once, but three times and then have that recorded in the most read book of all time?!
And not recorded, just once, but in all four gospels.
Peter. Oh. Peter. (Luke 22:31-34)
The more I study God’s Word, the more I realize God never pretends the people He uses are perfect.
But often, we sure pretend other humans are perfect . And then we get upset, some even want to tear down statues of men like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln , when we realize they aren’t perfect either.
But, I’m kind of thankful God uses uses imperfect people to do great things—people like Peter.
I’ve always liked Peter…. I love that our Lord used that imperfect man like He did. It gives me hope.
Let’s revisit some things we know about Peter—
Peter definitely had his mountain-top moments. Literally—he was there at the Mount of Transfiguration to see Jesus, Moses, and Elijah transfigured in glory. (Matt 17:1-9)
Peter was also the one who walked on water, then famously sank, when he took his eyes off the Lord (Matt 14).
Peter had times where he said profound things of great wisdom and insight: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also, we have come to believe and to know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69).
But then… But then, he’d turn right around and blow it!
As Jesus said Peter would, he denied Jesus three times.
Let the enormity of this sink in: Peter denied the Savior, three times right after saying, “Even if I have to die with you I will not deny You!” (Matthew 26:35).
I love that God STILL chose to use this very flawed, but very faithful, man to build his Church. (Matt 16:18).
God is so patient and chooses (yes, chooses) to use imperfect people to do great things.
He has done so since the beginning of time, He has done so in the formation of our great country, and He will continue to do so.
It is ridiculous for imperfect people to expect perfection in other humans. We will no more find it in them than we will find it in ourselves.
The Book of John records Peter’s restoration when the resurrected Jesus asks him three times if he loves Him (remember, Peter had denied Jesus three times) and then Jesus tells Peter to, “Feed My sheep”. (John 21)
And from there, Peter will preach the good news and encourage believers to hold on to truth.
He will be called simple and uneducated, but will remark that he can’t help talking about what he has seen and heard (Acts 4).
Peter will walk hard roads and shortly after he pens the letter, called Second Peter, he will die a horrible death because of his faith.
Church tradition holds that Peter would ask to be crucified upside down…not feeling worthy to die like His Lord.
But before Peter’s death, God would choose to use imperfect Peter to ignite Christianity around the globe!
And from this, we can know, God can use us as well because He uses imperfect people, all the time, to advance His Kingdom.
What hope, we very imperfect people have, because of the only perfect One!