Beholding Jesus in His Amazing Grace, Session 11: “Jesus, Our Personal Restorer”


Beholding Jesus in His Amazing Grace, Session 11, “Jesus, Our Personal Restorer” from Parresia on Vimeo.

Jesus is our Personal Restorer. A beautiful example of personal restoration is the story of Peter. Even when we fail Jesus, He cannot ever fail us.  Long before Peter failed, Jesus had prophesied his victory, and just like Peter, our destiny is secure in Jesus! (see transcript of the teaching below)

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Transcript of “Jesus, Our Personal Restorer”

Introduction – definition of restoration

Welcome to session 11 of Beholding Jesus in His Amazing Grace. This session is entitled, “Jesus, Our Personal Restorer.”

When something is restored, it returns to a previous, better state. Restoration has been a theme of the scriptures since the fall of man, and when God restores, it is always better than the original.

  • Job was restored twice as much as he had before. 
  • Even under the law, restoration was much more.  One law said an offender had to repay 20% more than was stolen; in another law the restitution was double. 
  • In Isaiah 61, under the New Covenant, instead of your shame you shall receive double honor.
  • In Mark 10:30, Jesus said that whatever we lose for the sake of the gospel, we will receive 100-fold in return – now, in this life. 

John 10:10 – [Jesus said] “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” [More abundantly – more than the thief has stolen.] 

The definition of the Greek word for restoration, “apokatastasis” [apoka-ta’-stasis] means a reconstitution – a recreation – of the perfect state before the fall. It’s a return to what God intended. This noun is used only once in the New Testament in Acts 3:21 which we may talk about next time, but the verb form is used several times.  

The verb form, “apokathistēmi”, means to restore to its former state or to restore to perfect health. For example:

Mark 3:5 – [Jesus said to the man with the withered hand – ] “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.

I believe we are entering a season like never before where God is going to restore many broken, sick, wandering, and lost people to wholeness.

The enemy is tearing down at breakneck speed, but Jesus will rebuild and restore. He will restore the years the locusts have devoured.

Restoration is personal

Today I will shine a light on Jesus as our Personal Restorer through the story of Peter. But before I get to that –

Have you ever had a season in your life where you devoted your time or your prayers or your livelihood or your strength to one person? Like to care for a dying parent or spouse, or pray for a wayward child, or care for a newborn? The rest of your life was put on hold so you could pour your life into the “one.” 

I have experienced this many times during my life.   Right now, I am getting a bird’s eye view of this with Frances. I am traveling one day a week to visit with Frances and her newborn baby girl. I drive 2.5 hours there, spend a few hours, and then drive 2.5 hours back. And it is one of the greatest pleasures of my life. I’m enthralled with this new life and so honored to be able to see my daughter and her new daughter “up close and personal” during this precious time in their lives. It is revealing to me even more about our preciousness to Jesus.

Psalm 139:16-18, NIV – all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand…

God has shown me that this is how He feels about each and every one of us. Unlike us, He is not limited by time or space or power or knowledge or resources. What He does for each one, He does for all.

With all of that in mind, I want to take a look at how Jesus restored Peter. My hope is that we won’t get too focused on Peter and his personality and his ups and downs, but rather on the kindness of Jesus towards him and the way in which He restored Peter. It’s quite personal.

Peter meets Jesus

So, I want to take a somewhat detailed look of Peter’s life with Jesus, so you see not only how gracious Jesus was to him, but how far Peter fell – not to shame Peter, but to shine a light on how great his restoration was. He had experiences with Jesus – like walking on water – that no one else had – the more you’ve been given, the more you can lose – and Because of this, his failure was great. Which means he experienced one of the greatest restorations of all time.

My original plan for this message was just to jump to John 21 and Peter’s restoration, but it seemed right to back up and give some context so we can more appreciate it. We will get to John 21 next time.

The very first time Peter met Jesus, Jesus gave him a new name – a name that was prophetic and predicted his future. A name that shows us that Jesus knew Peter long before Peter knew Him – Jesus had always chosen Peter and had a plan for his life.

How much more personal can Jesus be than to give someone a new name – and in this new name was an identity and a calling and a promise. 

The first time Peter met Jesus was in John 1. His brother Andrew had been with John the Baptist when Jesus had walked by, and John had declared –

John 1:29 – “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Andrew and another disciple of John’s followed Jesus and spent the whole  day with him. Andrew then went and found his brother Peter and said,

John 1:41-42 – “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). [Now you have to understand – they were looking for an earthy Messiah – an earthly king. They had alot to learn about Jesus.] 42 And he brought him [Peter] to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone)

Cephas was Aramaic for Peter, or in Greek “petros,” and it means “a rock or stone.” Jesus saw Peter as He intended Peter to be. The rough, impulsive, and reckless fisherman was, in Jesus’ eyes, a firm and faithful rock.

Peter would one day be instrumental in laying the foundations of the church of which we are all building blocks today. He was given an assignment from Jesus that would unlock the door of the body of Christ to the Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles – in other words, the whole world.

After the bitter pain he would suffer for being ashamed of Jesus, Peter would be forever transformed by Jesus’s mercy and grace. He would become an unshakable rock established on the sure foundation of his cornerstone. In his first epistle he included the prophecy from Isaiah 28:16:

1 Peter 2:6, NIV – [The Father says] “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, [Isaiah adds, “for a sure foundation”] and the one who trusts in him [Jesus] will never be put to shame.” [Peter would never be ashamed of Jesus again]

Luke 5 – the great catch of fish

The calling of Peter is mentioned in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and occurs very early in Jesus’s first year of ministry. 

Now in Matthew and Mark’s accounts of the calling of Peter, there is no mention of the miraculous catch of fish. This miracle is recorded only in Luke’s Gospel. 

I believe after thoroughly reading these passages and researching timelines and events,  that this miracle catch of fish in Luke 5 occurred later and was a confirmation of the earlier calling of Peter in Matthew and Mark.

This miracle in Luke 5 occurs after the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, so Peter had previously been a personal witness and beneficiary to the power of Jesus to perform miracles.

In Luke 5, the multitudes were crowding around Jesus while He was sharing the word of God with them at the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two empty boats on the shore because the fishermen were off cleaning their nets, so –

Luke 5:3-8 – Then He [Jesus] got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. [Now this boat is Peter’s life. What happens when Jesus gets into our lives? This is definitely a set up for Peter!] 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” [The deep is where the big fish are. But they had just washed their nets, so this was going to be a pain! Also – here’s Jesus the carpenter instructing an experienced fishermen, but Peter is willing to give it a try, although with reservations – ] 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, [which basically means “boss”] we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless [I love that word! We need to learn to say it when the Spirit tells us to do something that doesn’t make any sense. Just say, “NEVERTHELESS – ] at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. [The blessing far outweighed Peter’s faith. It was PURE GRACE! It was a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fish!] 7 So they signaled to their partners [James and John] in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they [both] began to sink. [I see a principle here – those who partner with us – in life, in business, in ministry, in friendship – get the overflow of the grace of God on our lives. The grace of God on Peter benefitted his partners, and one day Peter would have so much grace on his life that even his shadow would heal people! But on this day, the grace of God was not something Peter was ready to receive.] 8 When Simon Peter saw [the massive catch of fish] it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 

Rather than feeling overjoyed at the blessing, Peter was humbled by the mercy and goodness of Jesus. The grace of God set side-by-side with his own sinfulness overwhelmed him with unworthiness, and he begged that Jesus would depart from him.

Why would Jesus want to be near him? How could Jesus be so good to someone so foolish as him? The goodness of God broke his pride like the load of fish broke the net. 

This is the first time Peter called Jesus, “Lord.” His mind was changing as he got just a glimpse of who Jesus really is. But which came first? The blessing or the repentance? The blessing, right?

Romans 2:4 – Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness  of God [The Greek word there means “useful kindness, meeting real needs, in God’s way, and in His timing.” The useful kindness and goodness of God -] leads you to repentance? [metanoia – a change of mind]

Like David spoke of in Psalm 23:6 – I always pray for the goodness and mercy of the Lord to pursue those who need to change their minds about Jesus.

I pray “Lord, will You chase them down with Your goodness and Your mercy? Will you awaken them to Your grace with Your useful kindness? 

Will You meet their needs in a way that can’t be explained any other way than Your goodness?”

Luke 5:10 – [Back to Peter – skipping to verse 9 in Luke 5- ] 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. [The grace of God can be a fearful thing, can’t it? When you realize how undeserved His favor is, you may find yourself resisting it, but His goal isn’t for us to refuse the abundance of His grace, but to receive it and reign in life through it – ] From now on you will catch men.”

My daughter Elizabeth shared a video clip with me of Jerry Seinfeld giving the commencement speech at Duke University. He warned the graduates not to buy into the current trend of rejecting the privilege they have because of a sense of guilt.

He encouraged them to use the privilege of having a degree from Duke and whatever other privileges they have to seize the opportunities that privilege affords.

You see, refusing favor never helped anyone. It only limits potential. There should be no shame in receiving the superabundance of God’s grace! Did you know that shame and fear go together?  Jesus said, Don’t be afraid!” Don’t be afraid of God’s grace! Take and take some more!  So Peter forsook all and followed Jesus.

Earlier in Matthew and Mark, Jesus had told Peter and Andrew, “You will be fishers of men.” Now Jesus is saying, “You will catch men.” You can fish, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you catch anything. Catch is the Greek word “zōgreō”, [zō-grā’-ō] and it means to take, to capture.

The only other place this word is used in the Bible is in 2 Timothy 2:26 referring to unbelievers who have “been taken captive by satan to do his will.” “Taken captive” is the same Greek word as “You will catch men” in Luke 5. 

Peter’s calling would be a direct affront to the devil’s plans. Peter would catch men who had been caught in the devil’s trap, and they would be delivered by the gospel of grace that Peter would preach.

Peter walks on water, Matthew 14

A couple of years later, they were on the same lake where Peter caught the net-breaking, boat-sinking, load of fish, but this time they were in a storm. 

Matthew 14:24-25 – But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” [In the Greek, “it is I” is literally “I AM.” – The Hebrew would be Yahweh – It’s the name of God. He’s saying, “Don’t be afraid. I AM the Lord over the water and the waves.”] 28 And Peter [always the passionate one] answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He [Jesus] said, “Come.” [I think Jesus adored Peter’s zeal] And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 

Peter literally walked on the water as his eyes were fixed on the Author and Perfecter of faith. Peter looked at Jesus, and he became like Jesus.

Matthew 14:30 – But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid,…

He started to look at the circumstances and the limitations of his own flesh instead of looking at Jesus, and he fell from grace. [falling from grace…]

But consider this logic: Peter saw that the winds were boisterous, but what does that have to do with walking on water? If there aren’t any storms or waves, and the sea is a perfect calm, can a person walk on water? No. The waves have nothing to do walking on the water!

Peter went from Jesus-consciousness to flesh-consciousness, like swinging from the Tree of Life to the Tree of the Knowledge. It’s two totally different realms.

Matthew 14:30-33 – and beginning to sink he [Peter] cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, [Jesus is our safety net – always there to catch us when we fall] and [Jesus] said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” [I don’t think Jesus was mad at Peter. I think it was like when a child falls off a bike when the training wheels have been taken off, and we say, “You were doing so well! Why did you doubt? And I am right here to catch you!” I used to see these rebukes from Jesus as harsh, but the more I know about Him, the more I see His tenderness and encouragement. I think He loves it when we try! He would rather we swing and miss than not swing at all.] 32 And when they [Jesus and Peter] got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” [In other words, You are not of this world. You are from God!]

In John’s account, we see that another miracle happened when Jesus got into the boat – it reminds me of when he got into Peter’s boat, and he caught all the fish:  

John 6:21, NLT – Then they were eager to let him [Jesus] in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!

Not only did Jesus walk on the water with Peter, calm the storm, but they were also supernaturally transported to the other side. He redeemed the time that the storm had stolen. 

Matthew 16 – Revelation, the Ekklēsia 

A few days later, after Jesus had performed many healings and signs, and fed the 4000, Jesus said to His disciples – 

Matthew 16:15-18 – “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. [“reveal” is the Greek word “apokalyptō”, and it means to unveil. The Father in heaven unveiled to Peter that Jesus was “the Christ” – that’s His title, signifying that Jesus was sent from God to be our Messiah, King, and Savior. And the Father in heaven also unveiled to Peter that Jesus was the “son of the living God,” which means Jesus is God made manifest in human form. Jesus continued-] 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, [Greek word “petros” and it means “rock fragment” or stone] and on this rock [a different Greek word – “petra” which means a large, projecting stone or crag. Jesus was saying – on this large rock – which in the context refers to the unveiling of Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” – ] I will build My church, [my ekklēsia – this is the first time this word is used]…”

Definition of “ekklēsia”- The body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom; the whole body of Christ scattered throughout the earth; and all the assembly of believers who’ve already been received into heaven.

There’s alot more I can say about that word ekklēsia, but I just wanted you to see that the entire assembly of every believer living on earth and in heaven is built on the revelation of Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” – the Messiah, King, and Savior, and God Himself made manifest in human form. And God chose Peter as the one to whom He first would unveil this truth.

Matthew 16:18, cont – and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against [the church] it.”

From Ellicott’s commentary, Hades, or hell, is the dark “shadow-world of the dead… from which issue all forces that destroy.” The jaws of hell can not destroy or overcome the ekklēsia – now or ever – because even when we die, we still live. No matter what the enemy tries, he will never be able to conquer the church! We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Matthew 17 – Mount of Transfiguration

Back to Peter, 6 days later, Peter, James and John would see a glimpse of Jesus transformed into His post resurrection state – 

Matthew 17:1-5 – Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John [James’ brother] his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He [Jesus] was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. [MOSES represents the LAW. ELIJAH represents the PROPHETS. And we know what they were talking about from Luke’s account – they were discussing Jesus’ death. No one asked Peter a question, but -] 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: [or tents] one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” [In Mark’s account, it says Peter blurted this out without thinking, because he was so stunned by what they were seeing. (Mark 9:6)] 5 While he [Peter] was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. [Which are the same words the Father spoke from heaven after the baptism of Jesus, but at that time in Luke 3:22, the Father was speaking directly to Jesus to affirm Him: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” And now at the end of His ministry, the Father is addressing Jesus’s disciples, and confirming His love, acceptance, and pleasure of His Son. And He commands them -] Hear Him!” 

Not “hear Moses” – not “hear Elijah” – Hear Jesus! The law and the prophets have been fulfilled. Now God speaks through His Son!

Hebrews 1:1-2 –  God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…

John 1:17 – the law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor of God] and truth [the reality of who God is] came [in human flesh] through Jesus Christ. [to reveal God to us and be God’s voice.]

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

Matthew 17:6-8 – And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. [What would Jesus say? What would He do?] 7 But Jesus came and touched them…

Here they are – on the ground, heads down, petrified. Today we might be concerned that they would suffer PTSD. But Jesus touched them. Do you know what that word “touch” is? Háptomai. 

Do you remember that word? It’s the same word used in Matthew 8 when Jesus “háptomai’d” Peter’s mother-in-law’s hand and power went out from Him, and His touch healed her of the fever.

Háptomai means “to modify or change by touching.” One commentary called it “impact-touching.

Jesus touched them, power went out from Him to give them peace, and heal them of their trauma and fear, and He said these words: 

Matthew 17:7-8 – and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, [Moses was gone. Elijah was gone] they saw no one but Jesus only. [Hear Him!]

“Don’t be afraid. It’s Me, and all fear is gone. Perfect love drives out fear. Fear involves punishment, but Moses is gone. The ministry of death and condemnation is gone. Elijah is gone. The prophecies have been fulfilled.

[You see – He’s given them a glimpse of post resurrection, New Covenant reality]

“Grace has come! Turn Your eyes upon Me. Hear Me only – not the voices of an unfinished work.”

Luke 22 – Jesus prays for Peter

Back to Peter – the more I learn about Peter, the more I see how precious he was to Jesus. It’s easy to be hard on Peter because of his mistakes, but once you see how Jesus sees him, you can’t help but love him, too.

Now to Peter’s worst moment. None of us wants to be defined by our worst moment. And with Jesus, we never have to be.  Peter’s great failure occurred after the last meal that he shared with Jesus before His death. 

So, that night, Peter vowed his undying loyalty to Jesus. 

John 13:37 – “I will lay down my life for Your sake.”

But Jesus knew that Peter didn’t even know what he didn’t know. He had alot to learn – especially about himself, but Jesus would love Peter to the end of himself. Jesus said to Peter –

Luke 22:31-32 – “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, [The Greek word for “ask” here is much stronger than simply asking. It means “to demand; to beg that one be given over to the power of another; to demand for torture or punishment” – satan has demanded ] that he may sift you [Peter] as wheat. 

The Greek word for “sift” means “to shake in a sieve, to separate.” Figuratively it means “to try one’s faith to the verge of overthrow by inward agitation.” 

Satan has his own winnowing sieve, and he wanted to winnow Peter away from Jesus and separate him. This warning by Jesus left a lasting impression on Peter which I’m sure inspired his warning to us in 1 Peter 5. 

1 Peter 5:8-9 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil [literally – your opponent in a lawsuit who falsely accuses and slanders you. He – ] walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith [what is “the faith”? It’s our defense against the enemy’s accusations]

“The Faith” is simply our faith to believe that we have been made righteous through the blood of Jesus. In the courtroom of heaven, justice has been declared.

“The faith” is our faith to believe that even when we fail Jesus, He cannot ever fail us. Even though Peter failed Jesus, Jesus would never fail him. Jesus was Peter’s eternal righteousness.

Luke 22:32 – [Jesus said to Peter – ] But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;… [Jesus was already praying for Peter even before he was sifted by the devil.]

Later in the Garden of Gethsemane that same evening, Jesus prayed for Peter again and for all of us-

John 17:15-17 – “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. [I’m going to read the definition of “keep,” and I want us to think about how Jesus is teaching us how to pray for each other and those we love when it comes to spiritual warfare: “KEEP” – to watch over, to guard from loss or injury, to keep intact, to preserve; to attend to carefully, to keep an eye on, to take care of, to hold fast. Jesus pray “Keep them from the evil one.”] 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. [Sanctify – hagiazō – to separate from this world and join to God. “Sanctify/ set them apart from this world by Your truth.”] Your word is truth.”

Luke 22:32, cont – [back to Verse 32 – “But I have prayed for you, Peter – ] that your faith should not fail;… 

In other words, there would be a test. Jesus allowed the test to show Peter “Peter.” Jesus was saying to Peter in essence, “I am praying for you that when you fail – not IF you fail –  your faith will not. You must believe that I am still with you! I will never leave you nor forsake you!””

What the devil wanted to do was to push Peter to the place where Peter thought, “That’s it! I’ve betrayed Jesus and He’s left me! He could never accept me now!” But the devil would not prevail because Jesus prophesied Peter’s victory before he ever failed – 

Luke 22:32-34 – [Jesus said to Peter -] and when [not IF] you have returned to Me, [I have an assignment for you -] strengthen your brethren.” [Long before we fail, God has prophesied our victory, and just like Peter, our destiny is secure in Jesus!] 33 But he [Peter argued] said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He [Jesus] said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you [even] know Me.”


Now let’s look at something beautiful in John’s account. After Jesus predicted His departure at the last supper – 

John 13:37-38; 14:1-3, NASB – Peter said to Him [Jesus], “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times. [Then Jesus says something very beautiful that we often don’t see because it’s in the 14th chapter, but it is the very next thing He said – ] 14:1 Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”

He would go to the cross – a place they could not go because their own blood could not save them – and then He would go to the grave on their behalf so that He could rise again on their behalf so that He could be the firstfuits in heaven on their behalf.

Then He would return – through the walls – to show them the receipt of their redemption. Then He would blow the breath of God on them, and they would become the dwelling places of God in the Fathers house.

None of this made sense to His disciples, but the main thing was Jesus’s imperative: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. Trust Me. I am leaving, but I’m coming back.” 

“And Peter, you’re going to deny Me three times. but I’m not giving up on you. I’ll be right here when you return. And I’ve got a big job for you on the other side of all this – bigger than you could ever imagine. Trust Me.”  

Luke 22:54-61, NLT – [Back to Luke 22 -] So they arrested him [Jesus] and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. 55 The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. 56 A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!” 57 But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!” 58 After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!” “No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted. 59 About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. [You may recall the first time Peter met Jesus in John 1. It says the “JESUS LOOKED AT PETER” and said “You shall be called Cephas”: “rock.” I wonder if Jesus looked at Peter in this moment and said in His heart, “You shall be called rock!! That’s who you are because I Myself have named you!!” It’s hard to imagine, but Jesus does not know us by the flesh – even when we are in the middle of failing Him.]

As Jesus was being led from the interrogation before Caiaphas to be interrogated by the Sanhedrin, He heard his dear friend’s familiar voice, but in a tone He had never heard. It was raised and shouting, and according to Matthew’s account, Peter was swearing and cursing, denying any connection to Jesus.

Then, as Jesus passed, He turned and looked at his old friend, the one who had just earlier that same night declared that even if everyone else deserted Jesus, he never would.

Self-confidence is a killer, isn’t it? Never say never. Just say, “By the grace of God, in utter dependence on Jesus, I will walk by the Spirit and not according to flesh.” 

Imagine that glance from Jesus, so full of tenderness and pity and forgiveness – the same kindness He would express towards the ones who would shorty nail Him to the cross. 

Luke 23:34, KJV – “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Jesus was not angry with Peter, only broken-hearted for him. It was truly rock bottom for Peter. The most shameful moment of his life.

Luke 22:61-62, NLT – [When the rooster crowed – ] Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 62 And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. [The Message – He went out and cried and cried and cried.]

In John 17, Jesus had prayed to the Father, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” Peter was not of this world, but he was intimated by this world, and it led to anger and resentment and lying and bitter weeping. I imagine the next few days were absolute torment for him.

Just as I imagine Adam and Eve were the most depressed people who ever lived, having once enjoyed the Garden of Pleasure in the presence of God, and then having been barred from ever entering again.

Peter tried to isolate from Jesus, but he was lost without Jesus. “Angry and depressed” wasn’t who Peter was. A fisherman wasn’t even his identity. His identity was found only in Jesus. We “find ourselves” by finding Jesus.

Next time I will tell you about Peter’s glorious restoration. He was radically changed, and I believe his life is a picture of many, many lives yet to be restored. 

It seemed to Peter that he had burned his bridges with Jesus, but Jesus rebuilt them before Peter took the first step back. Peter was a former failure, but, with Jesus, failure is never the end of the story.

2 Timothy 2:13, NASB – If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Philippians 1:6 – …He who has begun a good work in you will complete it…

1 Peter 5:10, NLT – In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

Copyright info: All scriptures in the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

  • (NKJV) New King James Version. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.
  • (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • (NLT) Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
  • (NASB) Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (
  • (KJV) King James Version. Public Domain
Parresia Ministries

Parresia Ministries

Parresia [pär-rā-sē'-ä]: a Greek word that means "boldness." Boldness before God to receive... Boldness before men to share... His scandalous grace with others! To read more about Parresia and the founder, Tricia Gunn, click here.