Last week I made mention of the grace that Jesus revealed to Thomas, in order to help him in his unbelief. It seems natural then, to follow the theme this and consider the grace that revealed to Simon Peter. If you remember the story, it was Simon Peter who said to Jesus ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you! ‘(Mt 26:35). Then, sadly within a matter of hours, Simon Peter denied Jesus three times before even the Cockrell had chance to crow.
In light of this, I love that fact that Jesus graciously restored Simon Peter before the other disciples on the shores of Galilee (Jn 21:15-18). Why however did Jesus do such a thing? Was it because he was week? No, it is because he is incomparably strong and unimaginably good.
I share with you two definitions of grace. Louis Berkhof defined grace as “the free bestowal of kindness on one who has no claim to it” (Systematic Theology, 71). J. I. Packer put it this way: “The grace of God is love freely shown towards guilty sinners, contrary to their merit and indeed in defiance of their demerit. It is God showing goodness to persons who deserve only severity, and had no reason to expect anything but severity” (Knowing God, 120).
I ask you to reflect upon these two statements, not only in light of the grace that Jesus revealed to Simon Peter, but in light of the grace he reveals to us all!
Yours and His, Gareth