Monday, October 09, 2006


7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. (Mark 16:7a, NLT, emphasis mine)

I don't know about anyone else, but I've managed to upset a good number of people. Some weeks, it seems to be on a regular basis. And I'm pretty sensitive to it too; it upsets me when I believe I've made someone angry. And so I try to make things better as quickly as possible. It stinks when you want to make something right, but you don't have the oppurtunity, or worse yet, the offended person isn't ready to talk yet.

As I was reading Mark 16 today, this particular verse jumped out at me. It's part of the exchange between the angel at Jesus' empty tomb and the women who had gone to annoint His body. Here we see the angel give the women a message to pass on -- that Jesus was alive and would meet them in Galilee. The beautiful part is, it was a message to His disciples, "including Peter".

Why is that significant? Because the last time Peter had seen Jesus was the night He was dragged away by the religious leaders and the other Jews. Peter had followed and watched when they took Jesus away. Prior to that, Jesus had predicted that Peter would deny Him, and Peter vehemently denied the prediction. Yet, while waiting in the courtyard outside, when asked if he knew Jesus, Peter did just as Jesus had predicted. In Mark's account, "Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept." (Mark 14:72b, NLT)

Not a good way to end -- after that, Jesus was "tried" and sentenced to death on the cross. The only disciple to be there at the crucifiction was John. Peter never had the chance to apologize to Jesus. I imagine those last moments were pretty hard on him.

But in that angel's words to the women, there was hope. Why mention Peter specifically outside of the other disciples? If Peter reacted the way I would've, I imagine he withdrew from everyone else in his shame. I imagine he felt humiliated, after making such bold claims. Although Mark's account doesn't mention another disciple there, in John 18, there was another disciple in addition to Peter (probably John himself, as Peter and John are often seen together, and John doesn't refer to himself by name in his Gospel). If John was there, perhaps Peter felt too ashamed to feel a part of that group anymore.

By mentioning Peter specifically, it was Jesus saying, "tell Peter it's OK". Amazing! Peter didn't have to apologize, it was Christ making the move of reconciliation! What we see is a small glimpse of the overall picture of the cross! Peter didn't have to go to Jesus, Jesus gave Peter an invitation to Him! We never went to God and said, "I want a relationship with You, please make a way." God wanted us to have a relationship with Him, and He made the Way, He gave us the invitation to Him!

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