Friday, November 14, 2014
The cock crowed. Peter had just denied Jesus three times. Gathered around the fire that cold night while Jesus was being interrogated, three different people asked Peter if he had been with Jesus. "No!"....three times.
And then that morning, after Jesus had been resurrected, and he met the disciples at the sea where they'd been fishing. And Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?" Oh...how painful. Peter was confronted with his failure of denying Him. But in that confrontation, Jesus was wrapping his arms around Peter, loving him, and restoring him.
Have you ever failed so completely that you were ashamed? Ashamed to come to Jesus? Ashamed to talk with him about that failure? He will do the same with you...wrap his arms around you, love you and completely restore you.
Look at Peter after that restoration. He had been filled with the Holy Spirit and preached. Three thousand people were saved. The next moment we see him, he reaches out and heals a lame man. The people who saw it happen are amazed and Peter begins preaching again. About 2000 are saved. He's arrested and brought before the high priest. (And this is where it gets good!) It says Peter opened his mouth to speak because he was filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit--and speaks with authority about their denial of Jesus.
I'd say Peter could probably speak with good authority about denying Jesus. Instead of allowing his failure of denying Jesus to paralyze him, he healed a paralyzed man and confronted others about their own denial of Jesus.
And then it says this...."those in authority saw Peter's boldness and unfettered eloquence and knew he was an unlearned man with no educational advantages and they marveled; and they recognized that he had been with Jesus."
Before the cock crowed, Peter hadn't wanted anyone to know he'd been with Jesus. But after experiencing the power and freedom of complete forgiveness and restoration and being filled with the Spirit of God, it was obvious...he'd been with Jesus. It showed. And Peter was willing to touch those same places in other people's lives so they could experience the same thing...complete forgiveness and restoration.
That's what being with Jesus does. And that's how the power of the Holy Spirit changes you.