Your revelation is greater than your regression
The first time he did it, he blamed it on his nerves. He did not mean to, but the girl had caught him off guard. The second time he did it was to protect himself; there were too many bystanders around. The third time he did it, he was angry and began to curse. How could they judge him based on his accent? That was just racist!
Then the cock crowed, three times. He looked up in shock, remembering the words of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times”. As it all sank in, Peter retreated into the shadows, weeping bitterly.
Away from the tumult of the crowd, the gravity of the day’s events began to close in on him. How had everything gone so terribly wrong? Peter had started out in life without much hope; he was a lowly fisherman and would have been one till he died. Then he met this Jesus and everything changed. Peter was thrust into the realm of the eternal, miracles happened, crowds thronged them and most of all, the Torah seemed to come alive in the person of Jesus. For the past few years, it felt like Peter was living the life he never knew he wanted – a life with purpose, a life with Jesus.
Against his will, tears welled up in Peter’s eyes. His thoughts went back to a conversation in the district of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus had asked the disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” and they had replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Their response displayed a view of Jesus, influenced by society.
Somehow Peter knew that Jesus did not want society’s response, He wanted an individual response and Peter wanted to respond. Jesus asked again, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter felt the answer well up in his heart and replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus then answered, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then He strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that He was the Christ.
Peter had been so full, so complete – he had a revelation. A revelation with eternal consequences, God had revealed Himself to Peter. Peter was right where he wanted to be, in communion and understanding with God.
Peter had been so confident. Even when things were difficult, he never felt worried because Jesus was there through everything. When they were publicly scorned, when demons manifested, when the storms came, when the crowd was hungry – Jesus was there and Peter was right there beside Him. Now everything was going to be changed, Jesus was going to be crucified.
But the worst of all was this – Peter had betrayed Jesus. He had done what he had promised he would not do, and he had had done it three times in a row! What hurt Peter more than anything, was knowing that he had let Jesus down.
He had had such a great revelation, but now it felt like Peter was in a great regression. Life was not moving forward for him, it was going downhill. Maybe it was time to give up and go back to being a fisherman.
If you have ever messed up big time, you will know how Peter felt. Listen to Rev. Greg Byers as he shows us how regression can turn into redemption.
Peter had known that Jesus was risen from the dead, but he pushed those thoughts out of his head as he cast his net into the waters. He was a fisherman now, an ex-disciple. At least he had the company of Thomas, Bartholomew, James, John and some of the other ex-disciples. They could return to their old life together and start a fishing business. Things may have regressed but he wanted to make the best of it. Those days walking beside Jesus were over for Peter.
He had not counted on Jesus looking for him. But there He was, John had confirmed, “It is the Lord!” Jesus was there and their nets were full of fish. Without a thought, Peter jumped off the boat and swam to where Jesus was. As soon as his foot touched the shore, he realised what he was doing. But it was too late now; Peter was once more standing at the feet of Jesus.
After breakfast, Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Hesitantly, Peter answered Him. By the third time that Jesus asked the same question, Peter was grieved. What could he say to the God who knew all? Jesus knew how Peter had repeatedly failed and probably would continue to fail. Peter knew better than to promise rashly.
But Jesus said, “Follow Me” and memories came flooding back. Peter remembered when Jesus first found and called him as he was fishing with Andrew one day. Jesus had said those very same words. Peter remembered the past few years with Jesus. Peter remembered his revelation.
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
It was time to reestablish his revelation. Peter’s revelation of who Jesus is, was greater than his regression. Peter’s relationship with Jesus, was greater than his regression.
Peter lay down his nets. A few weeks later, he found himself in an upper room and suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
And the rest they say, is history – church history.