“Satan asked”: Luke 22:31-32

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.”

Dear All:

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 IMG_0708 (the pier at the Lattingtown beach)

4 thoughts on ““Satan asked”: Luke 22:31-32

  1. When you said “no one can take away the name Jesus gives us.” Do you mean my birth name my parents gave me?”
    Thank you for sharing your insight on the scriptures.

    • Hi Elaine! Great question! Sorry if I wasn’t clear. So the names we have for each other on earth change often. One minute someone is our beloved; the next we find ourselves cursing them under our breath. Even our parents have different names for us sometimes. Our names can change when we marry. We can change our own name. We think of ourselves in terms of good names and bad names, as our mood shifts. But there is this concept in Scripture, as I am sure you know, of becoming a new person when we accept Jesus. The new person endures forever. And the new person has the identity that God intended us to have, an identity that no one can take away. Throughout Scripture, God bestows new names on His chosen to highlight aspects of their identity that a relationship with Him brings forth. When God made a covenant with Abram, for instance, He said “no longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.” Gen. 17:5. When Jesus renames Simon as Petra, or Peter, He becomes the rock, even when Peter’s allegiance shifts like sand. Through the lens of the cross, God sees us as covered with Jesus’ perfection once we believe. The verse I was especially thinking of was when Jesus says to the one “who overcomes.. I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” Rev. 2:17. Our new name on a white stone, a/k/a a rock, will endure forever. Xo

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