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Faithlife

Luke 22:31-32

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31 “Simon, Simon, look out. Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
The context of these words here is that they are spoken directly after the Lord had instituted the Lord’s Supper.
Jesus tells them in v8 to go and prepare the Supper. And in v14-23 they have the meal together.
And it’s here at the table after dinner Jesus teaches His disciples (vv24-38).
But a dispute breaks out about which of them will be the greatest in the Kingdom (v24).
He goes through and tells them in v27 He is among them as one who serves, as that what it really means to be great.
Peter’s pride is ruffled up and so Jesus, who loves Peter, says to him the words in our text.
31 “Simon, Simon, look out. Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
I had started down the road to outlining this passage for a sermon. I had intended to preach it. This passage has always been one of my favorites.
So I outline it and the first thing that I see in this text is:
THE PROBLEM: Satan has determined to have you. v31 “Simon, Simon, look out. Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.”
The desire of satan. “Satan has asked”
The design of satan. “asked to sift you like wheat.”
2. THE PRAYING: Jesus prays for you dear believer. v32, “But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail...”
The report of the prayer, “I have prayed for you...”
The reason for the prayer, “that you faith may not fail.”
3. THE PRODUCT: God will use your tested faith to strengthen others. v32 “And you, when you have turned back...”
The promise from this product: “when you have turned back”
The precept from this product: “strengthen your brothers.”
God will use my tested faith to strengthen others.There is no doubt that Jesus is prayers will be effective.
He doesn't say "if you return". He says "when you return".
Jesus prayers are effective, there is no debate, he will hold on to his own. He will not lose one.
Notice that with this promise, comes a command. "when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers"
That might surprise you. You might think that it would read,
"Peter, when you return you better walk around here for a really long time and hang your head low and shame!"
"You better come back with your tail between your legs and asking the rest of these guys, who did not deny me three times, you better ask them if they'll let you back in the club."
"You can come back, but you're gonna have to know your place! You're probably going to have to stay quiet for a couple years because you need to get rehabilitated. You can come back, but you better know what you are!"
But Jesus doesn't say any of those things.
He tells this man, who is going to deny him three times that when he returns, he is to strengthen his brothers!
"You better come back with your tail between your legs and asking the rest of these guys, who did not deny me three times, you better ask them if they'll let you back in the club."
"You can come back, but you're gonna have to know your place! You're probably going to have to stay quiet for a couple years because you need to get rehabilitated. You can come back, but you better know what arete you are!" But Jesus doesn't say any of those things. He tells this man, who is going to deny him three times that when he returns, he is to strengthen his brothers!
He doesn't tell him that his use in the kingdom is somehow going to be limited.
He doesn't tell him that the scars are too deep, or that the guilt of his sin is too dark.
No, Jesus tells him that he will be restored and that his mission is to now strengthen his spiritual family! His brothers and sisters in Christ.
Here's what God showed me, that my repentance from sin and restoration to God, is used by God to strengthen others in the faith!
"I just thought that was between me and God. That sin and unrepentance was just between He and I and I never thought about the implications for others."
That sin and unrepentance was just between He and I and I never thought about the implications for others."
We might expect Peter to be welcomed back into the fold… Maybe with kind of a handicap? It is going to walk around with a limp…
But that is not what Grace looks like!
That's not what mercy looks like!
The genuineness of Peter's faith is not seen in his sinlessness, but in his repentance!
That's what true faith looks like!
Think of the contrast in Luke's Gospel.
Judas will be lost.
Satan gets him.
Picks him apart.
Peters faith will not fail him in the end and
the mercy of repentance is the actual evidence of his faith!
Peter will turn back, he will not remain a stranger to the Kingdom of God.
And when Peter does return, he is to build up the church!
All you have to do is read the book of Acts chapters 1-12, and you will see the literal for filament of this promise!
He comes back as a man full of the Holy Spirit and preaches that message at Pentecost that gave birth to the church and
kicked off the message and
the advancement of the kingdom of Jesus Christ!
He becomes "the rock" as his name suggests.
the advancement of the kingdom of Jesus Christ! He becomes "the rock" as his name suggests.
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