Peter swears his loyalty to Jesus by his willingness to go to prison and even die for Him (Luke 22:33). Jesus prophecies that before the rooster crows twice, Peter will deny Him three times (v.34). True to this prediction, Peter denies the Lord. But Jesus made this statement because He forsaw this very moment. With His face still black and blue from the beatings, Jesus’ great heart reaches out to Peter and He looks at him. The Greek term suggests He looks through Peter. It is a penetrating look that pierces deep into his heart and soul. The expression on Jesus’ face at that moment is one Peter will take with him to his grave. Peter’s reaction is remose and bitter weeping (v.62).
But was it a look of reproach or compassion – of pardon or judgement? The answer is found in Luke 24:34. Peter is the only disciple Jesus singles out after His resurrection for a private interview. “The Lord has risen indeed and He has appeared to Peter”. It is a meeting so personal no details are recorded. “He has appeared to Peter” are words that verify Jesus’ love and forgiveness for His disciple who will indeed go to prison and die for Him.
WOULD I DENY HIM?
He said I would deny Him,
But I knew this could not be;
He said I’d turn my back on Him
And from His presence flee.
I swore I’d die before I’d do it!
On this point He must be wrong!
I’d rather go to prison,
Than join that cowardly throng.
But while He was mocked and spat upon
That night in the judgement hall,
I warmed my hands by the soldier’s fire
Because my faith was small.
They accused me of being with Him;
That with Jesus I had walked;
But I said they were mistaken….
While inside my Lord was mocked.
At last a maiden came
And accused me to my face’
But I could only vow and swear
To cover my disgrace.
They brought Him to the Judgement Hall
On that dark and terrible night.
When He looked through me, it broke my heart,
For I knew He had been right.
In my hour of temptation
Will I also tremble and cower?
Or will I stand and proclaim His name
In Pentecostal power?
-John Knoles, March 1991