“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your other brothers eye.” Matthew 7:5
You’ve heard it said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). As we learn to walk in the way of Jesus, perhaps it’s an interesting question to ask ourselves: Does Jesus follow his own advice? Consider how Jesus lived this out in his relationship with Peter. Use this imaginative exercise to interact with Jesus’ heart on the matter.
Scene 1: Jesus Rebukes Peter
Matthew 16:16, 21-23 Message Paraphrase
Shortly after Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter protested, , “Impossible, Master! That can never be!” But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.”
Jesus rightly discerned that Peter was not seeing clearly. Peter didn’t realize he was standing in the way of God’s plan and Jesus plainly told him off.
Have you ever been told off for doing something you didn’t realize was wrong? It stings. Have you ever been corrected by Jesus? Talk with Jesus about how his discernment made you feel.
Scene 2: Jesus Denied By Peter
Luke 22:54-62 Message Paraphrase
Arresting Jesus, they marched him off to the house of the Chief Priest. Peter followed, but at a safe distance. In the middle of the courtyard some people were keeping warm by a fire. One of the serving maids sitting at the fire noticed him, and said, “This man was with him!” He denied it, “Woman, I don’t even know him.” A short time later, someone else noticed him and said, “You’re one of them.” But Peter denied it: “Man, I am not.” About an hour later, someone else spoke up: “He’s got to have been with him! He’s got ‘Galilean’ written all over him.” Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.”
Peter obviously knew what he had done. He betrayed not only his best friend but his Lord. Tears poured from his guilt and remorse.
Have you ever done something wrong and immediately felt remorse? No one needed to tell you it was wrong, you already knew it. Talk with Jesus about how you felt.
Scene 3: Jesus Restores Peter
John 21:1-19 Message Paraphase
“After this, Jesus appeared again to the disciples, this time at the Sea of Galilee. Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?” They answered, “No.” He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.” They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in. Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Master!” When Simon Peter realized that it was the Master, he dove into the sea. When the disciples out of the boat, they saw a fire laid, with fish and bread cooking on it. Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.” Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples since being raised from the dead.
After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.” Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. And then he commanded, “Follow me.””
Peter wasn’t expecting Jesus to do anything that day. Peter went back to fishing like before he met Jesus. But Jesus wasn’t going to leave him there. Jesus brought him out to smell the charcoal fire but to rewrite a new memory of eating a meal with the master he loves and desires to follow.
Has lingering sin ever made you revert to old and immature patterns? That’s normal. But, Jesus’ heart is to not leave us there. He moves toward us, even after we’ve hurt him, to restore us to relationship. He may remind us of our sin by smelling the stench of the old life, but then Jesus, the log-less one, comes close ever so gently to remove the speck from our eye and restore our vision completely. Talk with Jesus about his way of wooing you to wholeness.
By Yvonne Biel