“Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’
Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan!
You are a stumbling block to me;
you do not have in mind the concerns of God,
but merely human concerns.’”
Matthew 16:22-23 (NIV)
“About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.
As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed,
and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor,
talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure,
which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem…”
Luke 9:28-31 (NIV)
Peter was one of the greatest individuals in the early church. He made remarkable statements concerning his beloved Master. His sermon in Acts 2 preached on the Day of Pentecost was wonderfully blessed and thousands were converted as a result of one sermon by Peter.
But Peter’s great gift meant he could commit great blunders and he did blunder as recorded in Matthew 16:22-23. A few days later Peter was rebuked by the Master for telling Him the coming crucifixion must never happen, Jesus took Peter, James and John up a mountain for a remarkable scene. There Jesus was transfigured before them. They were joined by Moses and Elijah and then the three transfigured men spoke about Jesus coming crucifixion. Peter, James and John heard the conversation. It was a scene that greatly helped to restore Peter and help him come to terms with our Lord’s death and resurrection.
Any child of God may falter and sin terribly. David, who wrote such beautiful Psalms committed adultery and murder. We know that several well known preachers in the twentieth century fell into dreadful sin. So, no one is exempt from the possibility of gross sin.
But just as the Saviour restored Peter so He restores us when we fall. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) So any child of God who falls into sin will experience the Lord’s intervention just as Peter did.
When David fell, God sent Nathan to rebuke him (2 Samuel 12). Because David was a true child of God he repented and also wrote Psalm 51 a wonderful prayer to the Lord full of sorrow and grief. Our holy God calls on all of us to be holy as He is holy (Leviticus 19:2).
If you have fallen or know a believer who has fallen be assured your loving heavenly Father will intervene to restore you to a place of useful service.
Weary of wandering from my God,
And now made willing to return
I hear and bow me to the rod
For thee, not without hope, I mourn:
I have an Advocate above
A Friend before the throne of love.
O Jesus, full of truth and grace
More full of grace than I of sin
Yet once again I seek Thy face:
Open Thine arms and take me in
And freely my backslidings heal
And love the faithless sinner still.
Thou know’st the way to bring me back
My fallen spirit to restore
O for Thy truth and mercy’s sake,
Forgive, and bid me sin no more:
The ruins of my soul repair
And make my heart a house of prayer.