Why did Peter, of all people, deny Christ? Peter was the leader of the early disciple movement…always at the front. Bring it forward 1975 years later? Why did Bob Coy have a moral failure? More people have come to Christ in South Florida by this man’s ministry than by any other person in South Florida. There is a connection here. It shows us one simple thing, that there are none righteous not even one. So, before you point the finger at brother Bob, realize that all of us are moral failures at one point or another. The tragic thing is that he just happened to be at the top.
Peter’s great profile is overshadowed by his great failing at the high priest’s house. Despite Peter’s prominence, despite his role as the custodian of the faith and leader among the disciples, he can still deny him and commit a moral failure. This is a warning that denial, faithlessness and moral failures are always within reach for even the strongest disciple.
But perhaps what stands out most in John’s story is Jesus’ continued interest in Peter. Jesus renews his relationship with Peter later when he meets him in Galilee. (John 21) He is still a man deeply loved and deeply forgiven — a man with work to do for his master.
Here is my prayer for Bob and for all of us. The forgiving love of Jesus is so great that he sees our real selves not in our faithlessness but in our faith, not in our defeat by sin but in our reaching after him even when we are defeated. And I pray this for Bob, and I pray it for each of us.
This is an excerpt from a sermon by Bill Mitchell, senior pastor of Boca Raton Community Church. www.BocaCommunity.org