Conflict and Courage


Peter Learned His Lesson, November 3

Luke 22:31-34

And the Lord 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, strengthen thy brethren. Luke 22:31, 32. CC 313.1

Bold, aggressive, and self-confident, quick to perceive and forward to act, prompt in retaliation yet generous in forgiving, Peter often erred, and often received reproof. Nor were his warmhearted loyalty and devotion to Christ the less decidedly recognized and commended. Patiently, with discriminating love, the Saviour dealt with His impetuous disciple, seeking to check his self-confidence, and to teach him humility, obedience, and trust. But only in part was the lesson learned.... Over and over again was given the warning, “Thou shalt ... deny that thou knowest me.” It was the grieved, loving heart of the disciple that spoke out in the avowal, “Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.” ... CC 313.2

When in the judgment hall the words of denial had been spoken; when Peter's love and loyalty, awakened under the Saviour's glance of pity and love and sorrow, had sent him forth to the garden where Christ had wept and prayed; when his tears of remorse dropped upon the sod that had been moistened with the blood drops of His agony—then the Saviour's words, “I have prayed for thee” ... were a stay to his soul. Christ, though foreseeing his sin, had not abandoned him to despair. CC 313.3

If the look that Jesus cast upon him had spoken condemnation instead of pity; if in foretelling the sin He had failed of speaking hope, how dense would have been the darkness that encompassed Peter! ... CC 313.4

He who could not spare His disciple the anguish, left him not alone to its bitterness. His is a love that fails not nor forsakes. Human beings, themselves given to evil, are prone to deal untenderly with the tempted and the erring. They cannot read the heart, they know not its struggle and pain. Of the rebuke that is love, of the blow that wounds to heal, of the warning that speaks hope, they have need to learn.... CC 313.5

A miracle of divine tenderness was Peter's transformation. It is a life lesson to all who seek to follow in the steps of the Master Teacher.4Education, 88-91. CC 313.6