Barbara Higby

Passionate Peter

# 3 The Conflicted Traveler

He followed Jesus to the Garden; he defended Jesus against the soldiers; he traveled to the high priest’s courtyard—Peter, first to speak, fast to act, famously impetuous. The man with unbridled passion vowed he would never deny Jesus but here, in the courtyard, he did so three times.

Jesus told him he would do so. Jesus asked him to pray so he wouldn’t be tempted. And Jesus forgave him, as He does us, for all our rash promises, fear-filled moments, and reckless behaviors.

After His resurrection, Jesus took a walk with Peter. If I was in Peter’s sandals I would have felt uncomfortable, awkward, ashamed. But all my regret could not have prepared me for Jesus’ grace. He didn’t reprimand Peter—He didn’t even refer to his three denials. Jesus knew Peter was repentant and He simply repeated one question three times, “Do you love me?”

Jesus died for our sins, transgressions, short-comings. He saved us as imperfect creatures who await the day we will be made perfect. Too often we work for perfection when what Jesus is looking for is our love.

If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He doesn’t ask you to make it right; He only asks you to accept the light of truth, and then He will make it right. (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, March 23 reading)

Jesus asks us today, “Do you love me?” He expects those who love Him to not look inward but upward, to Him, and then outward—to care for His sheep.

John 13:36-38;18:15-27. Image from Carmelites.net 

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