Journey Through The Bible
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 48-50
New Testament Reading: Luke 22
“Simon, Simon, look out. Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22: 31-32).
Jesus is with His Disciples in the upper room, and they had just finished eating the Passover meal. Then Jesus, in the most beautiful way, took the elements of the meal, the bread and wine, and transformed them from the Jewish remembrance of the Passover into a memorial for Him. The cross is now only a few hours away and Jesus spends the evening teaching His Disciples one last time before His death.
Then, right in the middle of His teaching, Jesus abruptly changes the conversation and makes this shocking statement, “Simon, Simon, look out. Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.” And the implication is that Jesus gave Satan permission to do so.
What thoughts must have entered Simon Peter’s mind as Jesus said those words? Satan Did What! Why Didn’t You Stop Him? Why Me?
Jesus then gives one of the greatest statements in all of scripture. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.
When we face difficult times in our lives, it is so encouraging to know other Christians are praying for us. But how much more encouraging that we can have the confidence that God the Son is praying to God the Father on our behalf!
While Jesus spoke that night specifically about Peter, the promise is for all His followers. The Apostle Paul wrote, Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us (Romans 8: 34). The writer of Hebrews said of Jesus, He always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:25).
No matter what trials you are going through, no matter what difficulties you face, Jesus is at this very moment in heaven at the right hand of God the Father praying for you.
Jesus then explains the reason for allowing Satan to cause Peter to suffer. “And you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Near the end of his life, Peter writes his two letters that we have preserved for us in scripture. Over and over, Peter encourages Christians and gives them hope amid their suffering. Jesus allowed Satan to bring suffering to Peter so that Peter could then bring hope, comfort, and peace to the lives of countless others during times of trials and conflict.
When Satan gave the Apostle Paul a thorn in the flesh, he learned that in his weakness Christ made him strong (2 Cor. 12:7-9). Paul would later write, We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Whatever we are going through, God has a reason and a plan to use it for His glory.
No matter what you are going through, you can be assured of 3 things.
1. God knows your situation.
2. Jesus is in heaven, interceding on your behalf.
3. God has a purpose for you being where you are.
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