A Miscellany from March 7, 2015

In Jonathan Edward’s corpus, he’s known to have written a number of “miscellanies.” I plan to offer my own series of “miscellanies” in the coming weeks and years. I have so many notebooks lying around my study filled with various entries I’ve made throughout the years, I may just post some of them here on my blog. Here’s one from last week:

Peter’s denial of Christ continually floods me with emotions. After he’s denied Christ twice in just a matter of moments, on the third occasion we read: “[H]e began to invoke a curse on himself and swear, ‘I do not know this man of whom you speak.’” Then, “he broke down and wept” (Mark 14:72).

Can you imagine how much shame he felt? Just a few hours prior he had boldly proclaimed, “Even though all fall away, I will not. . . . If I must die with you, I will not deny you” (V. 29, 31). He didn’t realize how deep his pride and fear of man went.

What was Peter going to do now? He decided to quit the ministry and go back to fishing. But Jesus had other plans. Whereas we’re attracted to strength, Jesus is attracted to weakness. He comes after Peter. He comes to him while he’s fishing to restore him. And what’s Peter’s response when he sees Jesus? I love it! John says he “threw himself into the sea” and began to swim to Jesus (John 21:7). I can just imagine him flopping and flailing about in the water. Was he a good swimmer? I don’t know. I hope to ask him one day.

When Jesus sees Peter face-to-face he asked him three times if he loved him. “This gave Peter three chances to declare his love—one for each denial,” to quote David Benner.

We all fail. Thankfully when we come to Jesus we’re not met with a stern look and him presenting us with a list of our shortcomings. Instead, we’re greeted with one-way love, a hug, a kiss, and an embrace. In the words of Brennan Manning, a man who knows a whole lot more about grace than I’ll ever know: “Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough . . . Jesus is enough.”

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