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Tell Peter

But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him, just as he told you.’  Mark 16:7 (NIV)

When we look back over our lives, many of us will see a life peppered with both success and failure.  Perhaps even now you find yourself facing some failure in your life.  The life of Peter, Jesus’ friend and disciple, is a lesson for all who are discouraged.  Mark’s record of the resurrection inserts two short words that offer hope to all who have failed God: “and Peter”.  The angel at the empty tomb tells the women, “But go, tell His disciples and Peter…”  Why did the angel add those two words?  I am sure that the risen Lord told him specifically to do so.

Peter was at the lowest ebb of his life, but Jesus wanted him to know that he was not forsaken, but forgiven, and that he had a future of service ahead.  He is mentioned by name.  In other words, the angel said, “Tell Peter too!”  Why did God single out Peter in this instance?  Let’s go back to the previous Thursday evening.  On that night Peter had denied Jesus three times.  This was something Jesus had warned Peter about as they were leaving the upper room for Gethsemane.  Peter expressed confidently that this would never happen; he was ready even to die for the Lord.  But deny Jesus Peter did – three times.  After Jesus was arrested, Peter followed at a distance to the courtyard of Caiaphas’ place.  There he was confronted three different times with the accusation that he had been with Jesus, that he was a follower of Jesus.  And three times he denied it.  With an oath he even confirmed that he never knew Jesus.  After the third denial, Jesus passed by, a cock crew and Peter ran out into the night with bitter tears.  He had denied his Master.

Now Jesus was risen.  And through the angel, Jesus had made special mention of Peter.  This could mean only one thing: Jesus was assuring Peter that He still loved him and counted him as one of His disciples.  He still cared for him.  Peter was soon to preach his finest sermon:

Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know – this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.  But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.  Acts 2:22-24 (NASB)

Do you fell discouraged?  Are you, like Peter, dismayed at the extent of your inadequacies and the pressure of living by faith?  Take heart.  God’s love is always greater than our failures.  The Lord says:

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  Isaiah 43:1-4 (ESVUK)