“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32, NIV)
You might remember this moment: Simon promised Jesus that, though others might abandon him in his hour of need, Simon never would. Simon Peter did, in fact, deny knowing Jesus three times. But what I want you to see today is Jesus’ empowerment of Peter. Notice the wording…you will fail, but “when you have turned back,” lead your brothers.
Jesus called Peter to leadership role with his disciples. The Lord didn’t want one mistake (however big or small) to derail that plan. And so he influences Peter.
Jesus is showing us the important role empowerment plays in influencing others. When God brings us people at their low points…after they’ve made mistakes…he wants us to influence them to go on and not give up. As we’ll see Sunday, the Lord gives Peter three opportunities to show his loyalty to Jesus – to counteract the three denials. The world tells us there are no do-overs. Jesus says otherwise.
Someone once said, “Don’t trim your trees in the wintertime.” Good advice, since you can’t tell which branches are alive and which are dead. In the same way, we don’t judge someone’s worth or value after a mistake. God wants us to influence them not to give up. He wants us to empower them to get back up and move forward.
I hope you’ll join us Sunday as we continue this discussion on empowering others.