The Sifting

“Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:34)

We have all heard the story of Peter’s denial of Christ. When the Lord first gave Peter this warning, no doubt Peter thought to himself, “That’s impossible; I will never deny my Lord.”

But Jesus would have known Peter’s impetuous nature and the deep love he would have for Him when He selected the man as one of His Apostles. I think, too, that this is the reason that Jesus identifies Peter as the rock that He would, build His church upon in Matthew 16:18, and that is, God used Peter many times to teach us all some very important lessons.

The entire chapter of Luke 22 has many lessons for us today. But let’s take a look at what was happening just before Jesus warns Peter that he will deny Him. Luke 22:31-32 reads, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

This is a very interesting warning in terms of Pastor Mark’s lesson for this week. First, Jesus tips Peter off that what He is going to say is very important, by using Peter’s given name, Simon, twice at the beginning of the sentence. Then He tells Peter that Satan asked God to “sift all of you as wheat.” Clearly, God agrees to allow this, as Jesus has not only prayed for Peter, but has asked him to strengthen the others, as they, too, will experience the “sifting.”

Like the first-century Apostles and disciples, we also are sifted by Satan. He taunts and tempts us. He leads us astray. Then he accuses us day and night before God (Revelation 12:10). But we need not fear, because notice that Jesus tells Peter that when he has turned back, he needed to strengthen his brothers.

As we see, all of God’s children will be sifted as wheat. Our God knows that our faith will carry us through, and He has given us to each other to be strengthened and set right. How blessed we are to have such a loving God, and each other, to lean upon during times of trouble and temptation.

(Susan Lockhart)
Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.

Based on The Last Supper on March 25th, 2017 - Watch Sermon

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