Mark 16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'”
Mark 16:7 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It’s amazing how long my list of favorite verses has grown over time, but there are just so many good verses that it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few. My all-time favorite would have to be Proverbs 3:5-6. I am sure I will be writing it on it sooner rather than later.
You might find it strange that I would choose this verse as one of my favorites, but let me explain why. As I study the the Bible, I find many men I want to be like. Of course I strive to be like Jesus, but I would also love to be like Paul or maybe Elijah. There are many in the Bible that you can look at and wish you were able to say “that is who I am like.” However, if I am going to be completely honest, I often times feel like Peter.
Peter was a pretty amazing guy and I am not at all comparing myself to him when he was at his best. I am a big chicken and doubt that I would have had the faith he had to get out of a boat on and walk on water! I would like to think I would be able, but don’t know for certain that I would be willing to face the persecution he faced. Peter did some pretty amazing things for the work of Christ and I strive to do the same.
The reason I feel like Peter is because he had his fair share of mess ups! Even when he walked on water he took his eyes off of Jesus and focussed on the waves and storm around him. God was doing a crazy miracle through him and yet he started to sink. However, when I think of Peter I think of the time leading up to the cross. I can almost picture Peter saying, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Like Peter there are times I feel so strong about my willingness to do whatever it is that God has for my life. There are times my faith seems so strong and my will so fixed. Yet, we know what the next verse brings, Jesus response “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
You probably know the rest of the story. When they came to arrest Jesus, Peter stood up for him. He took a sword and cut off an ear. He thought he was doing what was right but it wasn’t what Jesus wanted him to do. There have been some times in my life where I thought I was doing the right thing but I was reacting to my own emotions or my own feelings and not really listening or thinking about what Jesus would really want me to do. Then we see what Peter is mostly remembered for: denying he knew Jesus three times. I can see the picture in my head on the third time….Luke 22:60-62 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Peter had let Jesus down. He had done what he said he wouldn’t do. If you are like me you know what that feeling is like! There are times in our lives when we let the Lord down. There are times where we say we will do right and then don’t. I know I have sinned even though I didn’t want to, even though I knew it was wrong. I can’t begin to imagine what Peter must have felt when “The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.” Peter was a man who was so close to Jesus. He had seen His miracles, he had worked along side Him and then he let Him down.
We are human. We all sin. Even though we may not want to, even though we know how wrong it is, we still fall into sin just like Peter. Even as a Pastor and someone who grew up in the church, I still struggle just as Peter did. I still have times when I let my sinful nature take charge. The reason I like Mark 16:7 so much is because it gives hope! No matter what sin we have in our life, no matter how badly we mess up, there is still hope. “But go, tell his disciples and Peter.” God instructed the one in the tomb to make sure they told Peter! Even though Peter had denied Christ, even though he had sinned, even though he had messed up big time….Jesus still loved him and wanted a relationship with him! The same is true with us. Even though we fall, even though we mess up, even though we disappoint Jesus He still wants to have an intimate and personal relationship with us!
Even though Peter sinned and denied Him, Jesus wasn’t done with him. In John 21:15 we read “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Jesus still had work for Peter to do. He still had a plan for Peter.
If you are like me you have failed. You have fallen and you have sinned. The wonderful thing is you can replace Peter in Mark 16:7 with your name…“But go, tell his disciples and Matt.” Jesus wanted to continue to have an intimate relationship with Peter, and he wants to have an intimate relationship with us too! He has a plan for us!