By Melody Vanosdol
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant…?” (Matthew 24:45a)
The night of the Last Supper, Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him three times before the cock crows (at dawn). Peter swore that he would die for his Lord. But by dawn Peter had indeed denied knowing Jesus three times. I can only imagine the waves of guilt and sobbing that overtook Peter when he realized what he had done. (see Luke 22:33-34, 60-61)
I know the feeling of guilt. I know what it feels like to break God’s heart. But I also know what kind of repentance (change of direction) a time like that brings. When you finally quit sobbing, you become the most loyal person in the world, one who will suffer any type of wound in order to keep from causing that kind of hurt again.
The faithful and wise servant fails sometimes. We all do.
Make no mistake, the words Jesus spoke to Peter shortly before going to the cross apply to us all today: “Then the Lord said, “Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to have you to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have repented, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32) MEV
Satan wanted the Apostles then, and he wants us just as badly now. We live in a fallen world. For the time being, he has access.
Sifting is quite unpleasant. The old-fashioned way to sift is to spread wheat onto a floor made from stone or tamped earth and beat it vigorously with a flail. Simply put, sifting is going to hurt. These hard times scare us; they hurt us so badly, they shake our faith.
But Jesus intercedes for us, just as he did for Peter. “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
Jesus was blunt with Peter, “When you have repented” (after you’ve sinned)… other Bible versions say, “after you come back (to me).” We’re going to fall. No way around it. We must get up. Go back. Repeat.
We are not only called, but commanded to strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are stronger together. “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Becoming the faithful and wise servant usually involves stumbling around and falling down.
The faithful and wise servant gets back up.