Great Hope for Screw-Ups

Well, the holidays are over and somehow it really feels good to get back into our routines.  One of those routines being our study of the Gospel of Luke.

Have you ever messed something up royally…I mean, done something that you wish everyone would just forget forever, including yourself? I know I have a huge file labeled “cringe” that every once in a while a folder will slip out of  and I have to be reminded of how very prone I am to messing things up.  In the passage we’re going to look at this Sunday, Jesus is going to preemptively  point out a huge failure that Simon Peter is going to experience.

As you read the passage, how do you imagine Jesus saying these things…that is, how do you read his emotional response; angry, sad, irritated, or what?  Imagine that YOU are the one who’s going to screw up (like Peter), and then imagine that Jesus’ words are being spoken to you. How does that read – do his words leave you hopeful or condemned? Is this different from how you imagine God’s response when you fall short and sin?  What can we take away from this?

v35-38 have always been somewhat troubling. Jesus’ meaning is not very clear on the surface. Does reading the Message Paraphrase add any insight for you into what Jesus may be trying to say? Do you find any connection between Jesus’ identification of an Enemy (Satan) and his warning in v35-37?

The Small Groups are going to launch after Sunday, and group leaders may want to pull some of the questions posed here to supplement the questions already provided to you.  If you don’t have a leader’s guide, you can download the PDF for this week’s passage here:  leaders guide 22-31-38

Please make the commitment to get involved in one of the home groups that are starting – it is vital for our church to make deeper community connections.  Remember, everything about the Christian life is expressed in the context of community – to grow with God we MUST grow closer to other people.  If you need to know what home groups are available, you can download the PDF of the home group list here:  small group flyer

3 comments

  1. I too have done many things that I wish I could forget, some small, some really big some easier to admit than others. The only positive in them is that I have become much less judgemental and gentler with others when I am reminded of my own skeletons. Peter’s statements to Jesus were passionate and he seemed to be feeling pretty self confident when he was talking to Jesus about going to prison or dying with Him. I think we all have times or at least I have, when we have said or thought I would never _________ and later end up in the middle of that very sin under some circumstances we did not anticipate. The commentary in my bible says that Jesus may have called Peter, Simon, in this passage instead of Peter (rock) to imply that he was about to act in accord with his old nature of human weakness. The beauty in this is that He did not seem mad at all just knew it was par for the course with us human’s. He reassured Peter that He had prayed for him which is soooo cool and told him that when he had made it through this time of testing to continue his ministry to his brothers. One of the definitions of the word sift in the concordance was riddle…Thinking about that I imagined Peter as I have felt in the past as well, riddled and tormented with questions…is it too late for me now that I have denied my Lord..is there any hope for meaning or purpose in my life again? could Jesus possibly ever accept me after such a huge mistake??? And the verdict is a resounding YES!! Jesus knew Peter was going to deny Him, as we all have in our choices or actions at times and basically said don’t worry about that, before he even did it…He forgave Peter and reminded him to stay on course sending him out to encourage the others who would be riddled with the same questions and fears in their failures. He knew Peter’s weakness but He also knew his hearts desire to follow and serve Him…It says later that Peter wept bitterly when he heard the rooster crow signifying his deep sorrow for his actions..Luckily, Peter had the Lord’s reassurance that he was still accepted and useful. And, the best news is, so do we 2000 years later!! God does not want us to wallow in our failures for weeks, months or years…He wants us to repent, embrace His sacrifice for our sins and move on doing His good while we can!

    1. Really great words Julie! I just love this picture of Jesus completely aware of the huge tumble Peter is about to take, and he speaks words of forgiveness, like you said, before it even happens! God’s grace is just astounding to me…I hope I never get over it!

  2. Yes His grace IS absolutely astounding. it makes me want to be a better person like Jack Nicholson said in “As Good as it Gets”! It seems Jesus is really trying to shape our understanding of Him as friend in these recent studies in Luke. It is beautiful. Looking forward to hearing more about it tomorrow!

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