March 27, 2008

Why Simon?

Luke 24:33-35

“It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
Luke 24:34


Simon Peter was front and center during the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. Simon had boasted that he was willing to die for Jesus and that he surely would never deny the Lord. But with curses Simon denied even knowing the Lord. Then Jesus looked straight at Peter, and Peter broke down and wept bitterly.

All of this helps us understand Jesus’ personal appearance to Simon. The wonderful teaching here is that Jesus searched out the apostle who had blatantly denied him. Jesus had seen the bitter tears of Simon, so now he went to Simon to tell him that he was risen from the dead and that he still loved him.

Jesus’ appearance to Simon showed that he still valued Simon as a disciple. Jesus intended to restore Simon (see John 21) so he would live out the name Christ had given him. Jesus had named him Peter, which means “rock,” and Peter needed to show he had the faith on which Jesus’ church would be built (see Matthew 16:18).

It’s been said that one moment of thoughtlessness can bring tears for a lifetime. In my pastoral care I have sat with people who wept bitterly over their sins and the brokenness it caused. Maybe you think that God cannot forgive you. But always remember that one of the first things Jesus did after he rose from the dead was to appear to Simon and put him on the road to forgiveness.

Lord, we will never be able to fully understand or comprehend the greatness and depth of your love for sinners like us. But we thank you for your amazing grace. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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