Grace and Denial

Rev. Kristie Selvidge   -  

“No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.

Peter walked side by side with Jesus. He learned at the feet of the Master. Peter saw firsthand the miraculous work of the Savior. AND YET…when challenged about his connection to Christ, Peter denied Jesus, not once, not twice, but three times.

Jesus knew that Peter would deny him and told him as much. Even after Peter’s denial, Jesus seeks him out again. Jesus commissions Peter and the rest of the disciples to take the message of the Gospel to the world. These guys are the same group of teenage misfits who questioned him all along the way, lacked faith at every turn, messed up repeatedly, and ran from Jesus in His greatest hour of need. Jesus repeatedly showed them grace. Jesus put up with their questions and even their lack of faith…AND Jesus trusted them to be bearers of hope in the world.

This is good news for you and me and it is also a challenge.

If God could trust Peter who denied him three times, and the disciples who doubted and questioned…God can trust you and me. If God gave the disciples grace…He will certainly give us the same grace. If God could use them, then He can use us too.

Exodus 34: 6-7 “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin.”

If it is my desire that God would forgive me of my wickedness, rebellion, and sin…it should also be my desire that God would forgive others for the same, whether I think they should be forgiven or not. God’s redemptive grace should be my desire.

If God could offer the disciples grace, and we are striving to be Christlike, shouldn’t we offer grace to others repeatedly? Shouldn’t we look past doubts, mistakes, and failures, and see others as those who are created in the image of God? It’s hard sometimes to remember that we are all created in God’s image especially when we look at the actions and behaviors in our society today. In those moments I am reminded that I too am one of the screw-ups to whom Jesus repeatedly offers grace.