Lift Him Up

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The Converted Peter, an Undershepherd, July 29

When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Luke 22:32. LHU 224.1

Three times Peter had openly denied his Lord, and three times Jesus drew from him the assurance of his love and loyalty, pressing home that pointed question, like a barbed arrow to his wounded heart. Before the assembled disciples Jesus revealed the depth of Peter's repentance, and showed how thoroughly humbled was the once boasting disciple. LHU 224.2

Peter was naturally forward and impulsive, and Satan had taken advantage of these characteristics to overthrow him. Just before the fall of Peter, Jesus had said to him, “Satan hath desired to have, 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). That time had now come, and the transformation in Peter was evident. The close, testing questions of the Lord had not called out one forward, self-sufficient reply; and because of his humiliation and repentance, Peter was better prepared than ever before to act as shepherd to the flock.... LHU 224.3

Before his fall, Peter was always speaking unadvisedly, from the impulse of the moment. He was always ready to correct others, and to express his mind, before he had a clear comprehension of himself or of what he had to say. But the converted Peter was very different. He retained his former fervor, but the grace of Christ regulated his zeal. He was no longer impetuous, self-confident, and self-exalted, but calm, self-possessed, and teachable. He could then feed the lambs as well as the sheep of Christ's flock. LHU 224.4

The Saviour's manner of dealing with Peter had a lesson for him and for his brethren. It taught them to meet the transgressor with patience, sympathy, and forgiving love. Although Peter had denied his Lord, the love which Jesus bore him never faltered. Just such love should the undershepherd feel for the sheep and lambs committed to his care. Remembering his own weakness and failure, Peter was to deal with his flock as tenderly as Christ had dealt with him.... LHU 224.5

Jesus walked alone with Peter, for there was something which He wished to communicate to him only. Before His death, Jesus had said to him, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.” To this Peter had replied, “Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake” (John 13:36, 37).... Peter had failed when the test came, but again he was to have opportunity to prove his love for Christ.... Jesus thus made known to Peter the very manner of his death; He even foretold the stretching forth of his hands upon the cross.... He felt willing to suffer any death for his Lord (The Desire of Ages, 812-815). LHU 224.6