More Than Conquerors - Dave Smith

Come, See, Go, And Tell - Part IV

September 2020

“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead.” —Matthew 28:5-7

Not only were the disciples sorrowing and grieving (June article), afraid (July article), and doubting (August article), but they (especially Peter) were dealing with guilt because of their unbelief in what Jesus was actually trying to achieve by the cross. When it really mattered, they ran, and Peter denied the Lord three times to save his own life. Afterward, he was flooded with guilt about his relationship with Christ, but also, he wondered if he was disqualified from ever being used of God again. As one of the twelve disciples chosen by Christ (Matt. 4:18-20; 10:2-4), Peter saw Jesus perform many miracles. He, along with the other disciples (Mark 6:7, 13; Luke 9:1-2) and the seventy (Luke 10:9, 17-19), was given power (Matt. 10:1; Mark 3:14-15) to heal the sick and cast out demons. Peter, James, and John were the only ones who saw the healing of Jairus’ daughter (Matt. 9:18-25; Mark 5:21-42; Luke 8:41-56), the transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-8; Luke 9:27-36), and the only ones who prayed close to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:37-45; Mark 14:32-33). Peter not only saw but helped pass out miraculously multiplied fishes and loaves to the five thousand men and their families (Matt. 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13), and the four thousand (Matt. 15:32-38; Mark 8:1-9). He was the only disciple who walked on the water (Matt. 14:29-32), and who told Jesus He was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:13-16; Mark 8:27-29; Luke 9:18-20). Peter alone said, “Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69).

No telling how many times Satan, as the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), beat Peter over the head by asking him how he could deny the Lord when he experienced all of these things. Satan certainly told him over and over again that God was through with him. How could he even begin to think God would ever consider using him again? He simply continued believing what Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (means to return from error or evil to good), strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32).

However, there were several things that happened that not only indicated that he was forgiven, but that he was still called to preach the gospel. After the resurrection, when the angel at the tomb told the women to go tell the disciples, and especially Peter, to go to Galilee to see Jesus (Mark 16:7), Peter marveled with great astonishment and ran to the tomb to see for himself (Luke 24:12; John 20:2-10). Then Jesus appeared to the disciples at three different times, and did not reject Peter. First, He appeared to the ten (Luke 24:36-48; John 20:19-23), and the eleven at Jerusalem (John 20:26-28), and the eleven in Galilee (Matt. 28:16). Also, during some of these times, He commissioned them, including Peter, to preach the gospel to the whole world (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:47; John 20:21-22).

However, when Peter led some of the disciples on a fishing trip, which was probably to provide for his family, it may have indicated a continuing concern for his guilt and future ministry. But circumstances orchestrated by the Lord, which were similar to Peter’s original calling, confirmed beyond a shadow of doubt the forgiveness of his sins and his calling. They again had fished all night and caught nothing (John 21:3-6), but when Jesus told them where to cast their net, they caught a great number of fish. Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him, which was the same number of times he denied the Lord. Since the Lord already knew his heart, He was asking to confirm it to Peter. When Peter answered each time in the positive, Jesus told him to feed His lambs and sheep. This reassured Peter that his guilt was gone, and he was restored.

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