The other piece of information that Jesus gave the disciples at the Last Supper that they couldn’t quite grasp is that one of them sitting at the table would betray Him. This betrayal had been declared in the Old Testament prophecies. God knew what the betrayer would decide to do. Of course the disciples “began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing” (Luke 22:23).
That is what led to the disciples disputing who was the greatest and Jesus’ foot-washing object lesson. Still, Jesus reassures them concerning their calling. “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (vs. 28-30).
His words are a vivid reminder that our position with God is not based on our works but His grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God. John 17 records Jesus’ prayer for the original disciples and for those who would follow through the Church Age. Verse 8 reveals that because of their unique position as the foundational disciples and apostles, Jesus’ original disciples received the word of salvation and all that goes with it, including the forgiveness of all their sins and not so exemplar behavior at the Last Supper.
This included Peter. The next bit of information Jesus reveals is directed at Peter. “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (vs. 31-34). Peter rejects this word. “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Nevertheless, the word stands true. “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” Notice Jesus doesn’t condemn Peter for what is to come; instead He reassures Peter that despite the misstep, his calling remains.
Later in the chapter, what Jesus spoke takes place. Immediately after Peter’s third denial, a rooster crows as Jesus had prophesied. The passage also says that at that moment, the Lord turned and looked at Peter.
It was certainly a knowing look, but not one of condemnation, even though Peter naturally felt that way. The look wasn’t an “I told you so” sort of look. It was a compassionate, reassuring look that in effect reminded Peter of Jesus’ love for him. In effect, the look said, “Don’t forget what I prophesied over you. Remember, I prayed for you, that you would have faith in Me. I do not condemn you as the world does. Come back to your calling and strengthen your brethren.”
The Chronos Lesson: Our righteousness in Christ means that God can take whatever shortfall we commit or any negative circumstances we encounter and turn them to our benefit by affirming our faith in Him. The one thing Jesus wanted Peter to remember was his position in Christ and not his failure.
Yes, Peter would have to work through his fleshly emotions and train them to line up with the truths of God’s love, grace, and salvation. But in doing so, he would be stronger for it. Such healed scars are simply reminders of His strength and life in us working through us.
Jesus believes in us, even when we doubt ourselves. He never dishes out condemnation, guilt, shame, or “I told you so’s.” Instead, He dishes out grace upon grace (John 1:16), which reminds us that we are not in bondage to sin (Rom. 6:18). We can come out stronger. That is, if we dare to trust and accept His loving look!