“Abraham! Abraham!” ... “Jacob! Jacob!” ... “Moses! Moses!” ... “Samuel! Samuel!” ... “Martha! Martha!” and now, “Simon! Simon!”
Each of the four Gospel writers record Jesus’ prophetic declaration to Simon Peter. “Before the rooster crows in the morning, you will wimp-out ... three times!” (Matthew 26:34; Mark 14:30; Luke 22:34; John 13:38)
Only Luke records the following details of that conversation:
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me” (Luke 22:31-34, ESV).
Here, Jesus gives us a little peak into the unseen spiritual world.
“We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly place” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).
This reminds me of the opening lines of the Book of Job. The writer records a conversation that took place in God’s royal chambers. God gave Satan permission to attack Job, but God put strict limits on Satan’s reach. (By the way... I believe that really happened. It’s no myth... It’s the inspired Word of God and every word is true!)
In Luke twenty-two, Jesus tells Peter, “Hey Peter, I’ve been having a little chat with Lucifer, the leader of the demonic throngs who led the rebellion in eternity past, he’d love to squish you like a fat bug!” (The fat bug thing... that’s my imagination... )
Satan wanted to sift him, like wheat is threshed. He wanted to beat him and break him down. Like the grain is violently beaten out of the head, such was the Devil’s design for Peter!
But here’s the good part. Jesus said, “... but I have prayed for you!” Jesus had gone to battle! The battle is real! The stakes are eternal, and the warriors are formidable and fierce!
Years later, Peter warned his readers, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, ESV).
We have a ferocious enemy! A lion! But just as God limited the enemy’s activity in Job’s time, the lion is still on a leash!
And just as Jesus prayed for Simon Peter, Jesus is seated today at the Father’s right hand, faithfully interceding for us! He is our Advocate, pleading our case! (Hebrews 7:25, I John 2:1, Romans 8:34)
Just like Peter, we’ll fall, fail and fumble.
And again, just like Peter, we can trust our Faithful Intercessor to pardon and protect!