Luke 22:54 – Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. (NIV)
Luke 22:32 – But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. (NIV)
Like Peter, we often choose to watch from a distance. This is a part of our human nature. For example, my house is a short distance from the fire station that serves our neighbourhood. Even after many years of the sound of sirens, it is tempting to follow at a distance to see where the fire truck is going. We want to stay at a safe distance, but we have an urge to see, feel, and experience the new and exciting.
Peter followed Jesus at a distance to see what the soldiers would do with Him. He was not expecting to be recognized. Peter had not planned to deny his friend, but he was frightened.
"No, I never knew Him," he said, while the sound of his voice drifted to Jesus' ears.
Then the rooster crowed. Peter realized what he had done. He was caught in the act of denial. Then he had eye contact with Jesus. Can you imagine the impact of that glance?
This was not the end of the story. Peter and his friends were fishing, when the risen Lord suddenly appeared on the beach. Peter was given another chance. He was forgiven and restored as a pillar of the church, and was charged with helping his friends restore their faith.
Out of Peter's failure came forgiveness and restoration, and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter became a great builder of the early church. His testimony of failure and restoration had credibility. From Peter's experience, we can know that Christ will forgive and restore us also, no matter what our failure.
Prayer: Precious Jesus, as Peter repented and turned back, help us to repent of our shortcomings and find restoration in You. Amen.