“….and Peter”

Mark 16:7 (ESV)
“But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

This is another great example of a Scripture verse that has a subtle inference included that can be overlooked as we read our Bibles daily. If you recall, the words spoken in this verse were the angel of the Lord telling the women at the empty tomb to give this message to His disciples—and Peter.

Why would Peter be singled out like this? To understand this, we have to remember what transpired prior to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. When Peter denied Jesus three times (Luke 22:54-62), which Jesus earlier told him he would (Luke 22:34), Peter had to be absolutely distraught at what he had done. The hours between his betrayal and his Master’s crucifixion and death must have been horrendous for Peter, reliving that his last act of discipleship was spent engaging in a cowardly act—especially at a time when Jesus needed him most.

In the midst of this sorrow, comes the joyous news of His resurrection, along with a personal message of forgiveness and hope for Peter. As important as this had to be for Peter, it also has relevance for us as well.

We see an important attribute of Jesus on display: the angel’s message reveals a love that goes beyond comprehension; a love that does not turn away because of our own sinful wavering of faith. Peter’s own words denounced his Savior, renouncing his very allegiance by saying he didn’t even know Him! But Jesus did not accept Peter’s renunciation. While Peter moved away, Jesus held on. The love of Jesus was not moved by the unfaithfulness of His disciple.

It’s interesting to note that it was not John that was singled out—the one of the twelve who actually is recorded as to having stayed with Jesus to the bitter end—but rather Peter. We could easily think that by this example if we sin greater, then greater is our reward but this would be a gross misrepresentation of the message of Christ (Romans 6:1-2).

Rather this is a message that displays a loving God who knows our unique needs. When we falter and stray from God, we can expect the mighty powers of His grace being brought to bear in an effort to bring back the lost child of God (Luke 15:1-7).

Also, just as Peter was singled out, we can see another remarkable aspect of our Savior: we also are known to Him by name. He speaks to us directly and individually today, just as He did to Peter then. His Word reminds us that He knows us by name (John 10:3,27).

In a wonderful moment of restoration, Jesus asks Peter the same question, three times: “Do you love me?” (John 21:15-17). In this, we have all we need as followers as well. He extends His love to you and I, despite our moments of wavering and broken fellowship. Do not ever think you are too far gone, or your sins too red for His grace.

Hear Him calling you, believe in His love for you, and know the blessedness of a fellowship restored.