Matthew 26:74-75 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Peter was a man’s man. A rough, rugged take charge type of guy. One who took names and asked questions later. The kind of guy you want in your corner or over for a football game. Yes, that was Peter.
There is so much to say about Peter. The one thing you can say about Peter is there was never a dull moment when Peter was around. Matthew 26:74-75 picks up where Peter is in the court-yard being confronted by people who recognize him as one who was with Jesus.
Peter adamantly denies this in a series of cussing rants as he denies knowing Jesus three times before the rooster crows just has Jesus predicted earlier. Scriptures says Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Perhaps Peter recalled the many wonderful moments he shared with Jesus as he sworn loyalty to Jesus in which he quickly abandoned.
Or perhaps Peter thought about the trust Jesus gave him when He told Peter he would give him the keys to the kingdom (Matthew 16:19). Or the time Peter witnessed the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9). Or the time Peter walked on water (Matthew 14:22-33). The list goes on and on.
Peter felt a deep sense of betraying Jesus as he recalled the times he shared with Jesus and how he said he would die for Jesus (Mark 14:31). I would imagine this was a tough pill for Peter to swallow in light of his bold claims.
However, Jesus did not feel or react the way Peter did. John 21:15-19 says, “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Jesus poured out the full extend of His grace on Peter because he wanted Peter to fully understand the reason He died on the cross.
Jesus needed Peter to see the power of forgiveness in light of his short comings. It was important that Peter see that Jesus is the Lord of second chances. The virtues of forgiveness, love and grace were key components to the Gospel in which Peter would preach boldly on the day of Pentecost.
The love and grace of Jesus truly has no boundaries in which we can scale as Paul so eloquently states in Ephesians 3:18. It was necessary for Peter to get this because the path laid out for him called for love that would sustain him during difficult times.
Like Peter, Jesus is extending grace upon grace to us in spite of our pass or failures. The times we have said we would live our lives for Jesus only to lay it down for sin again and again. Each and every time Jesus was there reinstating us to a higher calling that would turn the world up side down.
Today, answer to the call that Jesus has on your life. Jesus wants your heart, mind, body and soul which is a small exchange for the priceless gift of grace. Trust him today and forever, amen.