Peter was the one who betrayed Jesus, yet God still calls Him by name.
It’s Peter who betrays Jesus.
Peter, who went from being a fisherman to being in Jesus’ inner circle.
Peter, who had seen the miracles and healings firsthand.
Peter, who had the God of the universe wash His feet.
Peter, who gets flack for losing faith on the water, but was the only one brave enough to get out of the boat.
Peter, who had seen, heard, and tasted the goodness of the Lord.
When Jesus was on trial, it was Peter who betrayed Him. Not once. Not twice. Repeatedly.
When he came to his senses and realized what he had done, the Bible says he wept bitterly.
But it was too late. Jesus was in the ground; He had already been buried in the tomb. This Jesus, who Peter gave everything for, left his old life for, loved, and watched perform miraculous things, was gone. All hope was lost, and in the darkest moment, Peter failed.
Where do you go from there?
It was Peter who betrayed Jesus. But it was also you and me. Every one of us has denied Jesus and has said and done things that have put Him on that cross. Just like Peter, we have failed the very one who gave everything for us. The very one who loves us the most.
Most of us who have a relationship with Christ can relate to this gut-wrenching feeling Peter surely had. We know Jesus, have walked with Him, and tasted His goodness. Yet we fail again. We let Him down.
Friday night goes by, then Saturday, then Sunday. What do you think was going on in Peter’s heart and mind during that time?
When the Angel appears to Mary on that Sunday, he said two words that have profound implications. In Mark 16:7, he says to “tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee.”
Some other translations say “including Peter.”
Peter was a disciple, so why would this angel call him by name? Why was it so important that Peter was singled out to make sure he knew that Jesus would be in Galilee after all he had done to Jesus?
The Bible doesn’t necessarily tell us why the angel said these two words in particular. But the only answer I can come up with is that it is because of all he had done to Jesus. These two little words are one of the most profound examples of Grace in the Bible.
After everything he had done, when he had no reason to be forgiven, and all hope seemed lost, God still called him by name.
In my mind, the subtext of this verse is this:
I already know what you have done. I already know how you’ve failed me.
And I’m still the one making a way for you to be with me.
I haven’t given up on you.
And I still want you.
And I still love you.
You’re still included.
Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Friend, you are still loved. You are still wanted. No matter what you’ve done or how you’ve messed up, God is still calling you by name.