Summary: Peter failed the Lord in an immense way but was completely restored by Jesus
Sometimes in scripture we find something mentioned… seemingly in passing …that does not appear to be very important. Such is the case with our text this morning.
Last week, we studied the account of the two men on their way from Jerusalem to their home in Emmaus. We are told they were downtrodden. Their spirits were broken. They had seen the events of the previous week and had witnessed the arrest, trial and execution of Jesus.. And, with those events, they watched all their hopes and dreams for the future evaporate.
But then, they are joined by a third a man.. One they think to be a stranger and as they walk along, they talk about all they have seen and heard in the past week.. And, that just this morning, they had heard that Jesus had supposedly risen from the grave.
They were bewildered by this news and did not know what to think about it. But, later that day as they sat down for the evening meal, the stranger took bread and broke it and with that their eyes were opened and they realized this was no stranger but was Jesus himself who had spent the day with them.
This changed everything.. They were filled with excitement and instead of continuing on to Emmaus, they return to Jerusalem to seek out the other disciples… to announce the good news.
Luke writes in chapter 24:
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Notice the statement, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
Jesus appeared to Simon also known as Peter after His resurrection.. When? Where? Why? …. Do you realize there is no record of this meeting.. We do not know exactly when it took place nor do we have an record of what was said.
And, yet it is important enough that when Paul sought to prove the facts of the resurrection, he mentioned this meeting between Jesus and Peter.
1st Corinthians 15:
3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
For some reason Paul chooses to omit any record of the appearance of Jesus to the women who discovered the grave to be empty. But he makes it plain that among men, the first appearance was to Peter.
However, scripture makes it plain Jesus wanted especially to see Peter following His resurrection: When the angel appeared to the women, before Jesus appeared to any of them, they were told, Mark 16: 6“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”
Go tell his disciples…my followers .. and Peter.. It is clear He especially wants Peter know for whatever reason.
In th book of John we read that Mary Magdalene did what she was told even though she may have confused the facts a bit,
John: “2So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)