A Devotional about Failure and Restoration from Luke 22:24–34
24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. 25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. 34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
Recently many of my thoughts have been childhood memories of playing with my cousins at my grandparents house. One game that we would play was called called Simon says. In this game, whoever played the part of “Simon” (usually my cousin Tammy because she was older) would bark out commands for my cousin Staci and I to follow. The rules were simple, obey the commands only if they were preceded by the words “Simon says”. “Simon says jump” she would say, and Staci and I would jump. “Simon says, take three steps” and three steps we would take. “Simon says sit down”, and well you get the picture. “Pinch Jason”, “Ouch!, Simon didn’t say!” According to the rules, I won that game but I am not so sure that was actually the case. In this game, the only thing said that had meaning was what Simon says, not so in life.
Simon says, “not me!”
In today’s reading Simon said that he would never deny the Lord. Simon, full of overconfidence says, “I am ready to go with you to prison or even to death.” Simon may have said those words, Simon certainly meant those words but Simon could not live up to what came from his lips. It is easy to make promises before the pressure isn’t it? Good intentions in the good times are often good for nothing, it is how we fulfill those promises in the bad times that really matter. I guess, what Simon says isn’t so important after all!
Satan says, “I want them!”
When our Lord says that Satan hath desired to have you, the “you“ was plural. If I were to give the King Jason version of that verse it would read like this, “Simon, Simon, look here, Satan wants ya’ll that he might sift ya’ll like wheat…”. The old devil wasn’t just after Peter, he wanted all the disciples to stumble. Satan will attack the individual but make no mistake, others are his goal. Simon says, “I won’t fall”, Satan says, “I’ll see about that, I’ll get you and I’ll get your little buddies too!” In spite of his good intentions, Simon will fall, he will deny the Lord and sink into a place of great disappointment and depression. It seems that what Satan says means more than what Simon says!
The Savior says, “I have him!”
In spite of knowing the weakness of his servant the Lord makes him a promise, I have prayed for you! This time the “you” is singular. Jesus prayed specifically for Simon Peter, his prayers were not just for the group in general. Peter would get through this failure because of the intercession of the Lord! The Savior had Simon in his protective hand. Jesus makes Simon a promise that he would be changed for the better because of this experience and he should use it to help and encourage the others.
Have you made commitments that you were not able to keep? Have you disappointed others and yourself like Simon? Has Satan found your weakness and pointed out your failures to others? I have good news, if you know the Lord he has prayed for you specifically, making intercession on your behalf! The Lord knew your failures would happen all along and yet still he loved you enough to die for you. Let him give you the grace to go on and help others!
So, what Simon says isn’t that important after all! What Satan says isn’t the final word! All that matters is what the Savior says!