Daily Words of God | “How Peter Came to Know Jesus” | Excerpt 521
There was a climax in Peter’s experiences, when his body was almost totally broken, but Jesus gave him encouragement within. And He appeared to him once. When Peter was in tremendous suffering and his heart was broken, Jesus instructed him: “You were with Me on earth, and I was here with you. And though before we were together in heaven, it is, after all, of the spiritual world. Now I am returned to the spiritual world, and you are on earth. For I am not of earth, and though you too are not of earth, you have to fulfill your function on earth. As you are a servant, you must do your duty to the best of your ability.” Peter was comforted, having heard he could return to God’s side. When Peter was in such agony that he was almost bedridden, he felt remorse to the point of saying: “I am so corrupted, I am not able to satisfy God.” Jesus appeared to him and said: “Peter, could it be that you have forgotten the resolution you once made before Me? Have you really forgotten everything I said? Have you forgotten the resolution you made to Me?” Peter saw that it was Jesus and rose from the bed, and Jesus comforted him: “I am not of the earth, I have already told you—this you must understand, but have you forgotten something else I told you? ‘You are also not of the earth, not of the world.’ Right now there is work that you need to do, you cannot be grieved like this, you cannot suffer like this. Although men and God cannot coexist in the same world, I have My work and you have yours, and one day when your work is finished, we will be together in one realm, and I will lead you to be with Me forever.” Peter was comforted and reassured after hearing these words. He knew that this suffering was something he had to endure and experience, and was inspired from then on. Jesus specially appeared to him at every key moment, giving him special enlightenment and guidance, and doing much work in him. And what did Peter regret the most? Jesus asked Peter another question (although it is not recorded in the Bible in this way) not long after Peter had said “You are the Son of the living God,” and that question was: “Peter! Do you love Me?” Peter understood what He meant, and said: “Lord! I once loved the Father in heaven, but I admit I have never loved You.” Jesus then said: “If people do not love the Father in heaven, how can they love the Son on earth? And if people do not love the Son sent by God the Father, how can they love the Father in heaven? If people truly love the Son on earth, then they truly love the Father in heaven.” When Peter heard these words he realized his lack. He always felt remorse to the point of tears over his words “I once loved the Father in heaven, but I have never loved You.” After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus he felt even more remorse and grief over them. Recalling his past work and his present stature, he would often come to Jesus in prayer, always feeling regret and a debt due to his not having satisfied God’s desire, and not measuring up to God’s standards. These issues became his biggest burden. He said: “One day I will dedicate to You everything I have and everything I am, I will give You whatever is most valuable.” He said: “God! I have only one faith and only one love. My life is worth nothing, and my body is worth nothing. I have only one faith and only one love. I have faith in You in my mind and love for You in my heart; these two things only have I to give to You, and nothing else.” Peter was greatly encouraged by Jesus’ words, because before Jesus was crucified He had said to him: “I am not of this world, and you too are not of this world.” Later, when Peter reached a point of great pain, Jesus reminded him: “Peter, have you forgotten? I am not of the world, and it was only for My work that I departed earlier. You too are not of the world, have you forgotten? I have told you twice, do you not remember?” Peter heard Him and said: “I have not forgotten!” Jesus then said: “You once spent a happy time gathered with Me in heaven and a period of time by My side. You miss Me, and I miss you. Although the creatures are not worth mentioning in My eyes, how can I not love one who is innocent and lovable? Have you forgotten My promise? You must accept My commission on earth; you must fulfill the task that I entrusted you with. One day I will certainly lead you to be by My side.” After hearing this, Peter became even more encouraged, and received even greater inspiration, such that when he was on the cross, he was able to say: “God! I cannot love You enough! Even if You ask me to die, I still cannot love You enough! Wherever You send my soul, whether or not You fulfill Your promises, whatever You do afterward, I love You and believe in You.” What he held onto was his faith, and true love.
Excerpted from The Word Appears in the Flesh