31 The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have all of you, that he might sift you as wheat, 32 but I prayed for you, that your faith wouldn’t fail. You, when once you have turned again, establish your brothers.”
There is so much in these two verses. So much. As in the opening chapters of Job, Jesus here implies that Satan must secure God’s permission before he can oppress humans. And God sometimes allows Satan to do so, for His own purposes. As Tim Keller says in his sermon series on Job: God allows Satan just enough rope to hang himself. To God be the glory. Simon–a/k/a the apostle Peter–is about to commit one of the most famous betrayals of Christ at the crow of the rooster. And yet, by looking in the days to come at how Peter will not only betray Jesus–but also weep, repent, turn away from evil, and embrace God–we can find hope for our own betrayals, big and small. May Jesus pray for us all; that even when Satan sifts us as wheat, our faith wouldn’t fail. And when we turn again, we, too, might establish our brothers. And please note: Simon is the name that Peter had before he met Christ. No one can take away the new name Jesus gives us. Remember? When Jesus met Simon he said: “I call you Peter, the rock, and on this rock I shall establish my church.” If we cling to Jesus through everything, including our own failings, Satan can never have “all” of us. Instead, we give our heart to Christ.
xo Caroline (the pier at the Lattingtown beach)