Summary: There are times when people for one reason or another may drift back to where they were before when they were awakened spiritually.
This past Sunday, I saw a movie called “Awakenings”. It was based on a true story of the work of Dr. Sayer. Dr. Sayer had been working with some patients who were survivors of encephalitis which a disease that spread to epidemic proportions from 1915-1926. After 1930, there were not any more cases reported. Encephalitis was a disease that was never isolated to its root cause. It involved swelling of the brain and left its patients in a trance like state. They existed, but they were not sociable. It was like they were living but socially dead. Dr. Sayer experimented and tried to see if any of these patients would respond. It was if others in the medical field had given up any hope of ever reaching these patients. Dr. Sayer was an exception to this rule. He kept working with these patients until one day he discovered the medication and the dose of that medication that would bring them back. It was successful. The results of his discovery were miraculous. It was as if he had brought the living dead back to life. However, later, the effects of the medication eventually wore off and the patients started drifting back to a trance like state.
There was a time in the life of the disicple Peter, when he was asleep spiritually. After he met Jesus, he was awakened spiritually. However, before Jesus was arrested and taken into custody just before he was crucified, Jesus had warned Peter that he would deny knowing Him. Jesus told Peter that before the cock crowed he would deny Him three times (Matthew 26:31-35). After Peter denied Jesus those three times, he seemed to feel as if he could no longer be the disciple that he had once been. As a result, he was drifting back to becoming a fisherman until Jesus reminded him that he had been called to be a fisher of men.
There are times when people for one reason or another may drift back to where they were before when they were awakened spiritually. The spiritual disease of this type sometimes, if not always has to do with the loss of hope. Hope begins to dissolve because of guilt or resignation due to loss of dreams and/or enthusiasm. In Peter’s case, guilt was the underlying factor. Peter was returning to his occupation as a fisherman. It seems that he was abandoning the type disciple that he had once been. Part of his abandonment was, it seems, due to his guilt of having denied that he knew Jesus three times. The other part of it was, it seems, due to his loss of purpose and meaning as a disciple of Jesus.
Imagine for a moment that you were Peter. Wouldn’t you have felt the same way that he did? Wouldn’t you have felt like you had lost your purpose? Wouldn’t you have abandoned hope as he seemed to be doing? Remember the words of Jesus in John 15:5, “Apart from me you can do nothing?” Peter obviously did not feel as though he was connected with Jesus any more. And for just a brief time, he even began to feel like a failure as a fisherman due to his lack of success. It was as if Peter had truly given up on Jesus. But, then something wonderful, something soul-shocking was soon to happen to Peter.