Dever: Failure, weeping, repentance, change OR The difference between Judas and Peter

The following words flow out of Dever’s preaching from the gospel of Mark when Peter had sworn to stand by Jesus but yet he would go on to deny him:

As if [Jesus’ arrest] were not enough, Peter’s tragedy deepened. The words that follow are cold and harsh on the page of Mark’s Gospel. What one would not give to be able to go back and un-speak the words Peter spoke when the servant-girl asked him if he was with Jesus: “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about” (14:68). The question was asked a second time, and a second time Peter denied knowing Christ. But [Peter’s] awful words were most clearly stated after the third questioning: “I don’t know this man you’re talking about” (14:71).

Who was the greater traitor? Judas or Peter?

Yet the story in Mark’s Gospel is not quite over. Do you see that last sentence in the chapter? “And [Peter] broke down and wept” (14:72). This is not and insignificant detail, or the addition of a little color. In those tears was Peter’s hope. True repentance often begins with realizing the weight of your sins and the greatness of your need. It can come like a thunderclap. Then it can cause showers of regretful weeping. If it is godly sorrow, it brings change.

It brings the kind of change that transforms a boastful traitor like Peter into a faithful pastor, who, according to church history, would one day walk onto a Roman road, take up a cross, and follow Christ. Tradition tells us that Peter would not let himself be crucified in the same way Christ was. He did not feel worthy. So he was crucified upside down…

If you want to see Jesus for who he is, you must see yourself for who you are. And if you are seeing clearly, you will begin by weeping.

May God give us eyes to see the truth about ourselves, and then the truth about Jesus who came to lay down his life as a ransom for many [Mark 10:45]. This was the good news for Peter, and it is the good news for us.

Mark Dever, The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept, p. 76

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About cteldridge

A beggar trying to tell other beggars were the Bread is.
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