I wanted to use Luke 22 to talk about beholding. We ought to see how the Lord sees us. Peter was boastful about his affection with the Lord to a point that he felt he was the one who loved the Lord the most. However, man is unreliable. Luke 22:31-32 read, “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.
I think it’s good that the Lord said this. He addressed Peter by his original name. He knows everything about us. Though it was a major defeat for Peter, yet his faith did not fail. He was able to rise again because the Lord had prayed for him. The Lord also prays for us. I have believed in the Lord for more than 60 years. I have had all kinds of failures, but the Lord prayed for me. He knew that I could stand up again and gain victory. He’s all knowing. He knows everything about me and my life. Yet, He still chose me and commissioned me to finish His most precious will.
What did the Lord say? He said, “And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:32) After a fall and rise, a person is usually more humble. He knows how much he needs the Lord, and not to rely on his own will, his pride and self-confidence. And he is more understanding towards brothers and sisters, knowing that there is hope for them, regardless of their conditions. He sees the importance of praying for them. They will be strengthened and they can stand up again. He’s also better equipped to help others to know that the Lord still loves them the same.
Indeed, the Lord knew everything before it happened. Even before He died for me, He knew everything about me. He doesn’t have to wait till the time when I fell. He knows my whole life and what I would become. It is so precious! He said, “And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Of course, Peter did not believe that he would fall. Luke 22:33-34 read, “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.’” This event is also recorded in the other Gospels. In John, after saying this, the Lord told them, “Let not your heart be troubled.” (John 14:1) It is so precious! Other disciples would be troubled after hearing this. What about Peter? Denying three times that he knows the Lord. Though he didn’t believe this would happen, he still felt uneasy. Even though Peter went through defeat, the Lord said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me,” and He also said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1-2) For Peter and the disciples who fell, the Lord has prepared the most beautiful abode in the whole universe—New Jerusalem. He has already seen it. He said, “that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3) The Lord forever desires that we are the closest to Him. Nothing can change this desire. He knows everything.
I remember the shore by the Sea of Tiberias, the Sea of Galilee from our visit to Israel last year. When we worshiped on a boat by the Sea of Galilee, I had similar thoughts. We saw the shore from the boat. I was touched that the everlasting Lord came to the earth. Who would pay much attention to these fishermen—Peter, John, James and Andrew? The Son of God, the everlasting Lord, the Infinite One, had called them, even though one of these fishermen, Peter, would deny Him three times.
I feel that we ought to read John 21. After the resurrection of the everlasting Lord, the Infinite One, the faith of the disciples was still insufficient. The Lord had told them He would die and rise again, but they did not believe. They only believed after the women’s proclamation that they had seen the resurrected Lord. This appearance in John 21 is so beautiful. I treasure this chapter very much. I treasure the scripture regarding the Lord’s resurrection. We have the Lord, who died for us. He also rose from the dead and overcame death. Some people boast that they are not afraid of death. I don’t think they are telling the truth. They may not know what death really means, or where they will go after they die. But the Son of God came to the earth for us. He became a man forever! He died for us and took away all our sins! Man dies because of sin. But the Lord took away all our sins, and defeated Satan, who hurts us and lies to us. The Lord overcame the evil one! He overcame death!
I have read many autobiographies. At the end of each biography, the person died and was buried. Only the Lord rose from the dead! His grave is empty! I draw near to the Lord every day. He is living! He is most alive! He gives me life and helps me every day. His help is incomparable! In this world, only the Lord, no one else, can help me in my heart. He said, “I live…” (John 14:19) Relying on Him, I also live. I live by Him. He is very real. Without Him, I couldn’t imagine how bad I could become. I wouldn’t be able to stand for even a second. He is very real and He is my support. He overcame death and gives us the glorious boastful hope. The most important, though, is His personal love to me. This love changes my life. I need this love very much. I really treasure His love. Because of this love, He’s the one I love the most in the whole universe.
The Gospel of John tells us that He is the Son of God. Chapter 1 declares the Son of God becoming flesh. He lived, died and rose from the dead. What does He want to gain by coming to the earth for us? It’s very precious that He prepared breakfast, a barbeque for the disciples by the Sea of Galilee. I thought of those days in the past when I didn’t have any money for food. But He prepared for me. He is true. He knows when I’m in lack. Today, He still lives. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) His heart is so glorious and full of love. I treasure the gospel books in the Bible, which record the Lord’s journey on earth—the most touching and beautiful journey! No one can live a life like His. He spoke with many individuals. His love was personal. His life on earth was short, but He was very attentive and willing to open up when speaking with each person. He changed them one by one. These are examples to us. There’s a saying: “A moment of grace comes from an eternal heart.” Another saying is “A small gift with deep affection.” These expressions tell the love thoughts behind the actions. We have enjoyed detailed care from the Lord. His love expressions might seem small sometimes, but His thoughts behind them show His beautiful heart towards us.
The One in the Bible does not change. How He loved Peter He loves me the same. How did He change the Samaritan woman? He was weary, but He still went to the well and waited for her. This woman searched for love among men, but no one could satisfy her. The Lord knew the need in her heart. All these encounters written in the Bible are related to us. His heart towards them is also His same heart to me. He has not changed. What’s written in the Bible helps us to understand how the Lord sees us today.