ODJ: radical recovery

December 31, 2014 

READ: Acts 4:13-20 

We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard (v.20).

Attempting a quadruple toe loop, Olympic skater Jeremy Abbott swiveled into the air and fell. He careened into the rink’s wall and lay clutching his side. Amazingly, Jeremy then stood up and resumed skating. The rest of his routine included two extremely difficult, yet well-executed maneuvers. In the end, his perseverance after a serious mistake won the crowd’s heart.

Peter’s biggest error was predicted by Jesus when He said, “You will deny three times that you even know me” (Luke 22:34). The next day Jesus was captured and taken to the high priest’s home. Peter followed from a distance; but when a female servant identified him as a friend of the Saviour, he rejected her claim. Twice more Peter shirked any connection with Him. Finally, he recalled Jesus’ prophecy and wept.

When Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, He also predicted that the disciple would repent and turn back to Him (v.32). Peter had a radical recovery from his spiritual mistake. After Christ rose from the dead, Peter zealously spread the good news. When the religious leaders recognised Peter and John as Christ’s disciples, they told the duo to keep quiet. This time, however, the disciple didn’t shy away from his loyalty to Jesus. He said, “We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).

After being flogged (5:40), Peter and the apostles entered the temple and went door-to-door preaching “Jesus is the Messiah” (v.42). He also eventually wrote two letters to encourage Roman believers to live for God and “worship Christ as Lord of [their] life” (1 Peter 3:15).

Peter’s life proves that you can revive a radical relationship with Jesus even after making serious mistakes (Acts 4:13). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day plan› Revelation 22:1-21

Read Psalm 51:17 to see how God receives those who repent of sin. Read Titus 1:16 to see the relationship between denying Christ and how a person lives. 
How would you respond if someone told you to “keep quiet” about Jesus? Do you think Peter’s spiritual life was better or worse after repenting of his denial? Why?