Verse of the Day Devotion. Luke 22:31
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat.” Luke 22:31
This verse is part of Jesus’ foretelling of Peter denying he knows Christ. Peter’s name was originally Simon; however, Jesus later changes his name to Peter. “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, Who do people say that the Son of Man is? And they said, Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He said to them, But who do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.” Matthew 16:13-18.
Another thing, when a name is repeated in the sacred writings, it appears to be always intended as an expression of love, manifested by a warning voice. It is as if he had said, while you all were contending for supremacy (See Luke 22:24-30), Satan is endeavoring to destroy you all: but I have prayed for you apostles who are most in danger. Satan desired all the apostles. The plural Greek pronoun, ὑμας, sufficiently proves that these words were not addressed to Peter alone. Satan had already taken one, Judas; he had nearly got another, Peter; and he wished to have all. However, it appears as if the devil cannot tempt a man unless he receives permission. He desires to do all evil; he is permitted only to do some.
Then He tells Peter exclusively the following, “but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32. In this verse, the ‘you’ refers to Peter alone. It is apparent that Satan was going after Peter specifically. And we can see this in the words “and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers”. Jesus told Peter He had prayed for him that his faith would not fail. Jesus knew he would be tempted, and he would deny knowing Him due to fear. The prayer was that Peter would not disavow his allegiance and loyalty to Jesus. This Peter did not do; and the reader, who is aware of Peter’s leadership role in the early church, knows that Jesus’ prayer for Peter was answered. And this, His prayer, was that once Peter repented. he would strengthen his fellow believers in the faith.
Now, Peter responds by saying, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” Luke 22:33. However, he did not realize his weakness. Peter truly believed he could withstand anything that would come his way. He even called Him Lord showing his uncompromising allegiance to Him. But at that time, Peter was not prepared for all these trials. And Jesus showed His prescience by predicting his failure to publicly acknowledge Him. “I say to you, Peter, the cock will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” Luke 22:34. Now, the phrase ‘regarding a cock crowing implies the end of the night, or the dawn of the morning.
Now this begs the question, is our relationship with Christ strong enough to stay true to Him in troubling times? We need to be ready for troubling times are coming our way. And we must understand that He knows how things will come out. We must spend some serious time in prayer and fellowship with Him so that we will be ready when these times arrive. We may trip, as Peter did, but we must never fall away. God loves us so much, and He says He will never leave or forsake us. Can we say the same regarding ourselves? Become wholly sold out to God and work so as never to deny or forsake Him.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.