Simon Peter: Great Personal Failure, Greater Complete Restoration

There has never been, nor will there ever be in all of human history, a greater personal failure against Jesus AND a greater complete restoration than Simon Peter.

How do we feel on the other side of the failure, or the betrayal, or the sin?

  • Can God really forgive me?
  • Will it ever be the same again?
  • Can my conscience ever be clean again?
  • In God’s eyes, am I a second-class citizen because of what I have done?

Peter’s story has to be utterly hope-giving to us as his failure was greater than ours can ever be. Yet even with this failure, he is not only reinstated, but fully so to eventual apostleship, to preaching the first sermon on Pentecost, to introducing the gospel to the Gentile world, and to the authorship of parts of the Scripture you hold in your hand today.

“The fact that Peter was clearly forgiven by Jesus and given new responsibilities, amounting to apostleship, despite his total denial of his Lord, can give genuine hope to Christians today who feel that they have denied Jesus and that this is unforgiveable. He calls only for our repentance and our love.”[1]

God can’t use me. I’ve done this or that. God’s done with me. I’ve failed him so badly.

How does your failure compare to Peter’s? It certainly can’t be worse, can it? Can Jesus restore someone like you? If he can restore Peter, then he can restore you.

[1]Carson, D. A.: New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition. 4th ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA : Inter-Varsity Press, 1994, John 21:15

©2012 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address ( on the copied resource.

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