Scripture Reading: Luke 22:1-38; SOAP / Luke 22:31-32
Have you ever been talking to someone, trying to make them aware of a dangerous situation and they just won’t listen? This seems to be the situation in today’s focus text, at least by the opening line. Jesus, speaking to Simon (Peter), uses his name twice, “Simon, Simon”, urging him to pay attention. Then Jesus gives Simon the inside scoop, “Satan has demanded to sift you and the other disciples like wheat.” In other words, he wants to shake up their faith, to test it, with the hope – actually the confidence that Simon and the others will fail the test. Don’t miss the next line though, it’s the best part of the whole passage and the best encouragement for Jesus’s disciples today!
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.Luke 22:32
The Best Prayer Warrior
Can you imagine a better prayer warrior on your side than Jesus, the Son of God? He’s not only specific with what He’s praying but he also speaks words of encouragement, that though Peter will fall, he will also “turn back to following Christ and will be used to strengthen the other disciples to stand firm in their faith. It has been my experience that we often grow the strongest and most merciful through the trials we walk through in this life. So, I imagine that Peter not only strengthened the disciples after Jesus’ departure but that he also showed them much mercy for any failures. May we do the same for each other.
Response to God’s Word
Father, You teach us so much through Your Word. We may be bothered by Peter’s fall but how encouraging it is to know that he doesn’t stay down but indeed turns back and strengthens the ‘brothers’. Help us to listen to and respond to Your warnings .. to be alert to the schemes of the devil! Help us NOT so confident in self that we forego leaning on You. When we fall – for we all do – help us to stand back up and turn back to Your ways – and to encourage others in their walk of faith, and show mercy to others when they fall as You have shown mercy to us. Thank You that Jesus prays for us! What encouragement this is for our day to day living – Yes and Amen in Jesus’ name!
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