Saturday, Mar. 5
A lot can be learned from Luke’s account of Jesus’ prayer. Jesus told Peter that he had prayed for him. He knew the disciples would be disputing over which one would be greater in the kingdom, that they were not prepared for what was coming in the next few days, and that they would abandon Him. So He didn’t wait until the Passover Feast to pray. He had prayed about it before. He was ready for all that was to transpire in the coming few days. It’s interesting that Jesus used the name “Simon” rather than “Peter,” the name that Jesus had given him earlier. “Peter” means “rock,” which would not describe Peter during his defection. Jesus’ use of the name “Simon” must have had a profound effect on Peter at this time. Still, Jesus treated Peter as a faithful follower. Notice that Jesus called him by name three times in these two verses. You can just feel the love and concern that He had for him. His heart went out to Peter. His specific prayer was that Peter’s faith would not fail. His words were not meant to discredit him or make him feel guilty, but to prepare him for recovery. Peter’s response would be critical—for Peter as well as for the other disciples. It’s also interesting that Jesus knew that His prayer would be answered. He said when you turn back, not if you turn back. There was also a specific purpose in Peter retaining his faith. He had a job to do. He was to encourage the other ten disciples so that they, too, would be restored. They all had a huge job ahead of them. The prayer was crucial. And it was answered.