Today’s Reading: Luke 22:7-38 In the twenty-second chapter of Luke, we are given a blessed opportunity... a chance to listen in on a conversation between close friends around the dinner table. Consider some of the conversations you have had over dinner with your close friends and family. Conversations that include pain, celebration, confession, warmth, heartache, joy, tears, laughter. This tableside was no different. The conversation Jesus had with His friends at this “last supper” was one of celebration and hope, but also one of confusion and pain.
The disciples surely had no understanding of what Jesus meant when He said:
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:15)
“For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” (Luke 22:18)
“The hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.” (Luke 22:21)
“Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31)
I am guessing they were all confused by what Jesus was telling them, but I believe Peter felt more than just confusion. Peter was feeling pain and hurt. You get a sense of the hurt in his words, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33) Can you hear the defensive tone in his words? Can you see the pain in his eyes? How often do we get defensive when someone close to us knows our weaknesses better than we know them ourselves?
What I love about this interaction between Jesus and Peter is that even though Jesus knows Peter’s weaknesses, knows for certain that Peter will fail, He does not point fingers or get angry. Jesus simply says, “I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:32)
Jesus is telling Peter, “I know you will fail. It’s OK. Keep strong. I am praying for you. I love you. I know you will turn back. You have potential to do great things!”
Jesus was right. Peter did fail. Peter did deny Jesus. Peter also kept his faith… His faith did not fail. Peter did turn back. And Peter did strengthen the others.
Think back on a moment when someone knew your weaknesses better than you knew them yourself. How did you react?
Think back on a moment when you knew the weaknesses of someone else better than they knew them themselves. How did you confront them? Did you show grace? Did you call out that person’s potential?
We have each been created with the potential to do great things. Yet we will all fail at some point. It is important to remember that Jesus knows our weaknesses, knows our failings, yet continues to show grace and call out the potential in us. Rely on that grace, do not let your faith fail, and move forward. Do the same for others. Pray that “their faith may not fail.” Show grace. And call out their potential.
Abbie is the 33rd Street Campus Ministry Coordinator.