Isn’t it a mystery how you can read a passage of scripture dozens of times when all of a sudden a sentence will jump out at you as if highlighted, and you’ll wonder – “Why did I not see that before!” This is the absolute miracle of the Word of God, it is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword! The words etched on these pages are not dead, they are not passive or lifeless, but alive, endless, they have a power of their own!
While reading Luke 22, the story where Peter denied Jesus three times, I noticed a few details that I hadn’t seen before. One small sentence containing eight little words! “Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.”
“And the Lord turned and looked at Peter!” The Lord was there! The Lord heard each and every denial Peter made, one blow to His heart after another. The Lord heard every defiant renunciation that fell from Peter’s lips. How did I miss this, how did I miss the fact that Satan sifted him right in front of Jesus?! Oh how that must have stung, how personal and painful this particular rejection! And from Peter too – the one who knew that Jesus was the Messiah! The one on whom Christ promised to build His church. But even more than that, this denial came from one of His closest friends!
The Lord turned and looked at Peter – a look of compassion, a look filled with love and a look of understanding. It was this look that broke Peter causing him to weep bitterly, this look that finally brought Peter to the end of himself. If Peter had not been completely broken he could not have been completely transformed. Wholly changed. Peter’s transformation was so dramatic that he did indeed become the rock on which God’s church was built, bringing the gospel to the gentiles. He died a martyr’s death being crucified upside down upon a cross.
Of course Jesus was there! He always is. He is always standing beside you, watching over you, taking care of you, looking upon you with a love that is simply never ending. He is there in the good times and the hard ones. He is there when you fail, when you stumble, flounder, or fall. He sees the potential within you and believes wholeheartedly in you. He knows that when you come to the end of yourself, then His story can begin in you. The purposes and works that He has planned for you can begin and be established. When you find yourself at the end of your rope, remember, Jesus is always there. Where else would He be?!