In Mark 16:7 are some curious words. The scene is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome had come to anoint the body of Jesus with spices. An angel began to tell them about the resurrection of Jesus, and then He said, “Go your way, tell His disciples and Peter.”

Indeed those are curious words. Was not Peter a chosen disciple, had he not followed closely the master. Had he not been the spontaneous spokesman that announced, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Was he not one of the three drawn apart with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration and at the Garden of Gethsemane. He had not only been a disciple, but the one that had been very close to Jesus. Then what is the meaning of the words of the angel -- “Go tell His disciples and Peter.”

Remembering other things about the scripture relative to the events of the crucifixion, we remember that Peter denied the Lord Jesus on three different occasions. Sure, the pressure was great, how could a man be expected to stand up for Jesus even in the realistic possibility of His own death. Many things could be said to rationalize the fact that Peter denied Jesus, but that would not alter the fact -- Peter denied Jesus.

Did this represent a broken fellowship in the heart of Peter in relationship to Jesus. It is possible that this is why the angel had said, “Tell the disciples and Peter.” Disciples are followers. In Peter’s denial was this representative of the fact of his choice not to be a follower of Jesus. If that were the case, why bother to tell Peter? I think this symbolizes the great love of God for every person. Even though we deny Jesus at times in our lives, He still desires to have fellowship with us.

Even after the resurrection, what was Peter’s real attitude in relationship to the calling of God for disciples. Jesus had trained the disciples to carryon the work of the kingdom. Jesus indeed was depending on them. What, then, was in Peter’s heart after the resurrection when he was together with several disciples, and he said, “I go a fishing.”

Was this perhaps prompted by a feeling of despair in that everything had not worked out as Peter had expected. Was this a decision to return to his old occupation and forget about the need to serve the Lord. Only God can judge human hearts accurately, but this does pose some interesting questions especially in the light of what happened on that fishing trip.

You can read the whole, story in the 21st Chapter of John but for this writing we are interested in Peter’s relationship with Jesus. In the story, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Lovest thou me”, and Peter, grieved because he said this to him three times, said, “Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love thee”, and Jesus gave him the command, “Feed my sheep.”

It seems to me that this scripture restores Peter to discipleship, but that restoration came through repentance when Peter was confronted by Jesus. Who among us has never failed the Lord. Who among us has never despaired of following Jesus. Who among us has never closed the door of our heart in relationship to Jesus. I am quite sure that an honest introspection of our heart would cause repentance to come to many of us.

How have I failed the Lord? Where have I denied my Lord? How many times have I turned away from the purpose of Jesus for my life to follow my own desires? These are all questions, it seems to me, that had to be answered in Peter’s life.

Peter came up with the right answer of a surrendered heart, was restored in fellowship with Jesus and became a mighty person for God. I believe that that is what God wants, in every person.

During this Lenten Season let us search our hearts and find that renewed fellowship with Christ that brings blessing to the world in which we live. God bless you.

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