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Peter’s intentions were good. And, in fact, he showed more courage than did the other disciples. He actually followed Jesus in order to discover what would happen to Him.
But in doing so, he decided to hide his true identity. This compromise, this deviation from the path of what is good and right, led him to deny his Lord three times, exactly as Jesus had warned him.
The story of Peter here is in a sad way very instructive on how devastating the result of compromise can be.
As we know, Christian history is soiled with the terrible results that happen when Christians compromise crucial truths. Though life itself often involves compromise, and we must at times be willing to give and take, in crucial truths we must stand firm. As a people, we must learn what are the things that we must never compromise, under any circumstances (see, for instance, Rev. 14:12).
According to Ellen G. White, Peter’s compromise and failure began in Gethsemane when, instead of praying, he slept, and thus wasn’t spiritually ready for what was coming. Had he been faithful in prayer, she wrote, “he would not have denied his Lord.” – The Desire of Ages, p. 714.
Yes, Peter failed terribly. But as great as his failure, God’s grace was even greater. “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom. 5:20, NKJV). It was Jesus’ forgiveness that made Peter one of the prime leaders of the early Christian church. What a powerful lesson for us all about the reality of God’s grace. What a lesson to us all that, despite our failures, we should press on ahead in faith!
Yes, Peter knew what it meant to be forgiven. He knew firsthand just what the gospel was all about because he had experienced, not just the reality of his human sinfulness but the greatness and depth of God’s love and grace toward sinners.
|How can we learn to forgive those who have greatly disappointed us as Peter disappointed Jesus here?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons