This blog is longer than I like to write, but I think it might be worth the read!
I have had the privilege to come to know many hurting women (and men who have been in our home seeking help) who were honest about their place in life, their thoughts, their feelings, the hurts they can’t seem to get over-even years after the pain first came. Women, including myself, who sinned a sin (or many sins) that in their minds made them less loved by God, less a part of the body of Christ, just less as a person. If you feel “less” today, unforgivable, damaged, fearful of the future, unsure of your standing as a believer, this is for you.
It’s from Mark 16:7. But before we go there, let’s remember that Mark was a type of newspaper writer. Get the facts out, but use as few words as possible! So, Mark was only going to write what was absolutely necessary.
In view of this, it’s especially significant that he wrote 2 words in this verse that don’t appear to be all that vital to the story. Oh, but they are, and these words will cause you to raise your head today and look to the hills…the hills of God where we find strength. These two words will help you reach out today to another sinner, Christian or not yet. They will make you fall to your knees and worship a God who knows your heart better than yourself and sees ALL your sins (something we couldn’t bear ourselves) and loves you still. HE LOVES YOU STILL.
The words are from the angel who tell the women at the open tomb that Jesus is alive. Then the angel instructs the women to, “Go tell the disciples AND PETER: Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see Him there…”
Think about this. Peter and Andrew were the first two disciples Jesus called. Undeniably, Peter was the most passionate in his faith. Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter, which means the rock. Peter was the first to declare Jesus as the Messiah. Peter was in the “inner circle” of the disciples. Peter walked on water in a storm! He was the ultimate follower of Christ! There was no doubt then, that Peter was a disciple of Christ.
So, why then, did the angel say to tell the disciples AND PETER. Was it because he was not considered a disciple any longer? Definitely not. He became the first preacher–his first sermon leading 3,000 people to become believers, indeed he was the rock of the church.
So, why “AND PETER?” That would be like saying to our family, “Tell the Hoopers AND JILL.” Strange. Definitely odd. Or is it?
Peter’s last action before this was to deny his Messiah, his dearest friend, the miracle worker and patient teacher. Jesus said he would do it 3 times and he did. The unspeakable sin…denying Jesus.
But Peter belonged to God and God had huge plans for him. God knew Peter would deny him 3 times and the fact that Jesus said the number ahead of time and then said, “But I will pray for you…” is significant. Jesus comforted Peter before the denials, even when He was foretelling Peter’s great sin.
Jesus knew Peter was still a disciple after those denials, but did Peter know? Picture Peter—all the shame and blame and guilt he was experiencing after his denials as the memories of his times with Jesus flashed through his head. It’s easy to assume that he didn’t feel much like a disciple and that he might never forgive himself. Then someone told him what the angel said…”No, Peter, the angel really said ‘and Peter’, I promise!” Peter, in the pit of what sin does to us, probably thought, ‘No way. Not me. It can’t be.’
But the angel said, “AND PETER.” God knew Peter needed to hear that. Hear the tenderness of our Lord. Understand the foreknowledge, the omnipotence, the forgiveness, the plan and hope for a future that is our Daddy.
So, when Satan, or the world, or your own unbelief start your mind down a faithless trail, remember, “AND PETER….AND ME.”
i love to hear from you! If you would like to talk personally contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set something up. My greatest joy in life (for real, not just saying this) is to share in another’s struggles and encourage and exhort as well as be encouraged and challenged! Now we are down to 1 boy at home instead of 6, so I have lots of time! Hahaha!