FROM PASTOR MIKE’S PERSONAL BLOG:
Was the denial by Peter ordained by God?
Did Jesus make Peter deny him because if he did not Peter would have died. God had a plan for Peter and that was to build His church. Jesus chose Peter (the Rock) to lead the beginning of the church. Matthew 16:17 “And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
In this revelation was the fact that Peter denied Christ three times before the cock crowed more about Jesus working in his life and the promptings of the Holy Spirit than about Peter being weak or not having enough faith. I think if it was just left up to Peter he did have the faith and courage to profess that he did walk with Jesus and Peter would have died with him that day. Mark 8:29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” Acts 2:14 “But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.”
John 21:17 “He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” The truth is that it was not up to Peter, as all of Peter’s life was ordained by God, just like ours. In the moments when we think we have failed, when we think we are not good enough, when Satan reminds us of our past, we need to remember we follow a God that knows everything and these moments are just a flash of lightening in the greater story of God in which we find ourselves. Jeremiah 29:11 “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,” Amen.