Peter denied Jesus three times. Peter was the chief apostle, the one to lead the church after Jesus died. Jesus knew Peter would deny him before he did it. (Luke 22:34)
What does this say about Jesus?
Jesus knows our weak points. He has already seen what we will do. He has already paid the price of our sins before we commit them.
What does this say about Peter?
Peter was valuable to Jesus as a leader. Jesus picked him to be the chief apostle, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you" (John 15:16) Peter was weak but when he saw that Jesus didn't reject him, he became strong. He could have hidden in his shame and stayed weak. Instead he changed from weak and fearful to courageous -- even defiant. Maybe he said to himself, "I was weak once, but never again."
Jesus calls for us to be strong for him. He calls us even when we are weak. He doesn't want us to allow our guilty consciences to stop us. He wants us to grow stronger. It is Satan who says make aprons of fig leaves and hide.
Another Bible figure messed up royally and was still "called" to do a great work. Aaron made a golden calf for the Children of Israel to worship. "And the Lord was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him..." (Deut 9:20) But Moses offered a sin offering in his behalf and pled with the Lord. Aaron eventually was given the solemn responsibility to minister in the holiest places of the temple. (Ex 28:35) He changed from weak to strong.
These examples show that being strong often comes after being weak. It is never good to sin but as weakness changes to strength, righteous defiance replaces fear.
How do weaknesses become strengths?
We have to humble ourselves before God and accept responsibility for our choices.
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. " (Ether 12:27)
We stand in honesty before God and offer to change because we love Him. There is no stronger motive. Change brings new life. It is the beginning of better days.
If you liked this post you might also like this post about courage: In Confidence is Your Strength
The title for this post comes from Henry W Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's Ride. It says, "A cry of defiance and not of fear, A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, And a word that shall echo forever-more!"
The painting of Peter's denial by Carl Bloch is used with permission